10 Apr 2006

US immigration bill could allow Pacific people illegally in US, to become legal

7:01 am on 10 April 2006

American Samoa's Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin says an immigration reform bill now before the US Congress offers an avenue for Pacific islanders, illegally in America, to make themselves legal.

The Congressman says the legislation for immigration reform has a long way to go before it becomes law.

But the bill would allow illegal aliens, who have not been convicted of certain crimes, to obtain green cards which would give them legal status and allow them to work.

Among the provisions in the law now being considered by Congress are that the alien must have entered and continuously resided in the US since before January 2004, must remain continuously employed and must pass security background checks.

Candidates would also have to go to the 'back of line' behind all applicants waiting for green cards.

After obtaining their green cards, they would have to wait another 5 years before they could apply for naturalization.