- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard wants to allow migrants who are in the U.S. under the Compact of Free Association to take part in service programs.

Gabbard co-sponsored legislation Thursday to allow people from the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands to serve.

Volunteers in the federal programs such as Foster Grandparents and AmeriCorps generally work in non-profit organizations for a modest stipend.

But U.S. Rep. Madeleine Bordallo from Guam says last year some people had to stop service programs that they’d already begun because they were excluded due to their immigration status.

Gabbard says people who participate in the service programs gain valuable job training and skills while contributing to society.

The programs focus on disaster services, economic opportunities, education and environmental stewardship.

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