20 Jun 2007

American Samoa's attorney general receives no guest worker permits applications

10:35 am on 20 June 2007

American Samoa's Attorney General's Office has not received any applications from Star Kist Samoa or Samoa Packing for guest worker permits for Samoa citizens to work at the two canneries since the bill was signed into law late last month.

The bill went into effect immediately after signing by the governor.

Attorney General Fepuleai Afa Ripley said that he has not received any requests from the canneries for the special permits.

Fepuleai also indicated that his office has yet to establish procedures by which overstayers can apply for amnesty under the new law.

Under the guest worker law only citizens of Samoa who will be employed by the canneries or proposed call centres can apply for amnesty.

Testimony by the Chief Immigration Officer before the Fono put the number of overstayers at 800.

General Manager of Star Kist Samoa Brett Butler said last week that they were still reviewing the guest worker permit law particularly the responsibilities of the employers.

Changes made by the Fono to the administration bill requires the sponsors or employers of the guest worker to pay all of their public debts if they abscond before paying their bills.