Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo on Wednesday reiterated his opposition to the planned move of 5,000 Marines from Okinawa due to an ongoing dispute with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services over the use of skilled foreign labor on the island. Calvo had supported the buildup before the agency changed its policy in December 2015 and began rejecting nearly all requests by Guam for foreign skilled labor, reports the Guam Daily Post. A foreign labor force that typically exceeded 1,000 was reduced to 35 as of this January. Calvo said a provision in the fiscal 2018 defense authorization bill allowing contractors to use up to 4,000 foreign workers annually on the military’s buildup-related projects should be expanded to include civilian projects.
The governor spoke during the opening of an industry forum on business opportunities associated with the $8.7 billion buildup. DOD currently is soliciting bids for $2.6 billion in projects, Will Boudra, director of the Navy’s Guam Program Management Office, told attendees. Nine projects valued at $510 million already have been completed, and $495 million in projects are under way, reports the Pacific Daily News.
Pacific Daily News photo by Rick Cruz