16 Feb 2008

American Samoa's Congressman asks Homeland Security to investigate death of baby

12:27 pm on 16 February 2008

American Samoa Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin has asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for an immediate investigation into a death of baby Michael Futi.

He died last Friday while detained at Honolulu Airport because his mother a Samoan citizen had a problem with her visa waiver.

Faleomavaega asked for an investigation in a letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary.

He says there are many issues and questions regarding the seriousness of Michael's death and whether this tragedy could have been prevented.

Michael Futi was born with a hole in his heart and was sent to Hawaii for surgery.

Though the child and a nurse were both US nationals and did not need visas to enter Hawaii, they were held up with the child's mother.

They were locked in a customs room for about 30 minutes during which the baby developed respiratory problems and died.

Meanwhile, LBJ hospital in American Samoa said this week that all the travel papers for baby Michael Futi, his mother and a nurse were all in order.