7 Apr 2015

American Samoa amnesty legalises overstayers

4:28 am on 7 April 2015

American Samoa has legalised the status of hundreds of overstayers under an amnesty programme introduced last year.

The Immigration Board has approved 861 people to become valid residents.

Hundreds of people get residence status legalised after an amnesty

Hundreds of people get residence status legalised after an amnesty Photo: AFP

The Attorney General Talauega Eleasao Ale says of this number, 535 are from Samoa, 173 are from the Philippines, 89 from Tonga, 36 from Fiji and 21 from China.

Among the overstayers who were approved are two from each Vietnam, New Zealand and South Korea.

Last year, there were an estimated 4,000 overstayers.

The amnesty did not apply to those convicted of felonies but it gave the Immigration Board leeway in cases of those convicted of light crimes.

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