23 May 2007

American Samoa lawmakers concerned over lack of effort to reduce overstayers

8:35 am on 23 May 2007

The American Samoan lawmakers have expressed concern over the lack of or visible effort to reduce the number of overstayers.

The comments came during the confirmation hearings for Attorney General Fepuleai Afa Ripley who says the Immigration Office is now tracking down overstayers and sending them home.

He says all the information they need to track down foreigners who have overstayed their permits or have not received approval from the Immigration Board to remain in the territory, are available to the Immigration Office and he cannot accept that it is hard to find the overstayers in a small island.

Fepuleai said a number of overstayers have been sent home each week but he did not have an exact number.

The AG stressed that sponsors must take more responsibility for the people their bring in, and maybe if they are penalised it may help control the number of overstayers.