Deportation of Palauans from the U.S. hits record high in 2023

Aerial view of Palau (Photo: Supplied)

Nine Palauan citizens were deported from the United States in 2023, marking the highest number of deportees Palau has received in a single year. This significant increase, compared to the usual two or less deportees per year, raises concerns about the well-being of Palauan communities in the U.S. and the challenges they face.

Reasons for Deportation:

– Drug-related offenses: The majority of the deportees, seven out of nine, were convicted of assault, drug-related matters, or drug possession.

– Violent crimes: Two deportees were convicted of serious violent crimes, including a 67-year-old man convicted of drug possession and assault and another individual convicted of criminal sexual assault. This underscores the importance of addressing issues of violence within Palauan communities.

The sudden influx of nine deportees presents challenges for Palau in terms of reintegration and support. These individuals may face difficulties adjusting back to life in Palau after potentially residing in the U.S. for extended periods. Additionally, the stigma associated with deportation and criminal convictions can further complicate their reintegration into society.