East Hawaii News

Legislation Introduced to Extend National Service Programs

January 7, 2016, 3:33 PM HST
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Representative Tulsi Gabbard. U.S. House of Representatives photo.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard. U.S. House of Representatives photo.

Legislation to extend eligibility for national service programs to citizens of the Freely Associated States and those who are residing in the United States was co-introduced by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Thursday.

The legislation would amend Section 5 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 to include citizens of the Federate States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands who reside in the U.S. on the list of eligible individuals.

Currently, only U.S. citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent residents are allowed to participate in these programs.

“This legislation would help tens of thousands of COFA migrants living in the United States, including more than 12,000 in Hawaiʻi, gain valuable job training and skills, and give back to our community, by participating in programs that provide disaster relief services, educational opportunities, environmental restoration, and health care assistance to communities across the country,” said Congresswoman Gabbard.

In 2015, Congresswoman Gabbard introduced legislation to reinstate Medicaid eligibility for COFA migrants.


Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo of Guam introduced the legislation. Congressman Kilii Sablan of the Northern Mariana Islands is also a co-sponsor of the legislation.

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