5 Mar 2008

American Samoa seeks US visa waiver for medical emergencies

2:44 pm on 5 March 2008

The American Samoa Governor Togiola Tulafono is seeking an emergency U.S. visa waiver for foreign

nationals traveling from Pago Pago to Hawaii for a medical emergency.

Togiola said in a statement that the territory is very concerned over the Department of Homeland Security's

border control procedures for emergency case from American Samoa.

He cited the case of 14-day old Michael Futi, who travelled with his mother to Honolulu but died while locked up in a customs office at Honolulu International Airport.

Michael's mother is a citizen of Samoa while Michael is a US national born in American Samoa.

The travelling party was held up reportedly over the mother's travel documents.

Togiola says the death of the infant should never have occurred.