14 Jul 2010

US finds risks at American Samoa's immigration and customs

11:16 am on 14 July 2010

The United States General Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the US Congress, has identified risks associated with American Samoa's immigration and customs systems.

In a 47 page report, the GAO says the potential risks to the territory from customs operations include lost revenues and the potential aiding of criminal activities because of inadequate enforcement.

It says the threats from immigration are more serious.

The GAO reports US and American Samoan government officials saying current enforcement practices may lead to the exploitation of aliens by their sponsors, human trafficking and overstaying.

Officials are also concerned about illegal immigration to the rest of the United States as a result of travellers obtaining false documentation in American Samoa.