Migration with Dignity: A Case Study on the Livelihood Transition of Micronesians to Portland and Salem, Oregon
Scott Drinkall*,, Jackie Leung**, Carl Bruch*, Kapiolani Micky**, and Sandi Wells**
*Environmental Law Institute
1730 M Street, NW #700, Washington, D.C. 20036, USA
**Micronesian Islander Community, Oregon, USA
The Pacific Islander population in the U.S. continues to grow, with the Portland-Salem, Oregon area serving as one of the largest communities, notably among those from the Micronesian region. Migrants emigrate for a variety of reasons including educational and employment opportunities, improved healthcare, and assisting family members. The purpose of this study is to better understand the transition of Micronesians – specifically Chuukese, Marshallese, and Palauans – to Oregon and to identify factors that help or hinder that transition. The study utilizes a Migration with Dignity framework, assessing reasons for emigration to the U.S., experienced quality of life, especially livelihoods, potential reasons for (not) returning to one’s home country, and barriers and facilitating factors for an improved quality of life in Oregon.
-  S. Walda-Mandel, “There is no place like home: Migration and Cultural Identity of the Sonsorolese, Micronesia,” Universitätsverlag Winter, 2016.
-  N. Maclellan, “Kiribati’s policy for “migration with dignity”,” Inside Story, December 4, 2011, https://insidestory.org.au/kiribatis-policy-for-migration-with-dignity/ [accessed October 30, 2018]
-  H. Farquhar, “‘Migration with Dignity’: Towards a New Zealand response to climate change displacement in the Pacific,” Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper, Student/Alumni Paper No.19/2016, 2014.
-  K. E. McNamara, “Cross-border migration with dignity in Kiribati,” Forced Migration Review, No.49, p. 62, 2015.
-  F. X. Hezel and T. B. McGrath, “The great flight northward: FSM migration to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands,” Pacific Studies, Vol.13, No.1, pp. 47-64, 1989.
-  M. Nakayama, N. Yoshioka, H. Fujibayashi, and C. Bruch, “Factors affecting livelihood re-establishment of climate change induced transboundary displaced persons,” Int. J. of Social Science Studies, Vol.4, No.9, pp. 40-48, 2016.
-  S. N. McClain, C. Bruch, M. Nakayama, and M. Laelan, “Migration with dignity: A case study on the livelihood transition of Marshallese to Springdale, Arkansas,” J. of Int. Migration and Integration, pp. 1-13, doi:10.1007/s12134-019-00688-7, 2019.
-  A. Galletta, “Mastering the semi-structured interview and beyond: From research design to analysis and publication,” New York University Press, 2013.
-  M. D. LeCompte and J. J. Schensul, “Designing & conducting ethnographic research,” AltaMira Press, 1999.
-  U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts, “Portland city, Oregon; Oregon,” https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/portlandcityoregon,or/PST045217 [accessed December 30, 2018]
-  National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC), “FAQ – Healthcare Professionals,” https://www.ncihc.org/faqs-for-healthcare-professionals [accessed October 10, 2018]
-  M. Marshall, “Namoluk beyond the reef: The transformation of a Micronesian community,” Westview Press, 2004.
-  W. F. Jr. Roche and W. Mariano, “Ruthless trade of the ‘body brokers’,” The Baltimore Sun, September 16, 2002, https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-2002-09-16-0209160165-story.html [accessed October 10, 2018]
-  Federal Student Aid, An Office of the U.S. Department of Education, “Many non-U.S. citizens qualify for federal student aid,” November 06, 2018, https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility/non-us-citizens. [accessed December 30, 2018]
-  UNICEF, “Micronesia (Federated States of) Migration Profiles,” 2012, https://esa.un.org/miggmgprofiles/indicators/files/Micronesia.pdf [accessed September 30, 2018]