17 Jan 2013

Lolo seeks to change American Samoa immigration

3:39 pm on 17 January 2013

America Samoa's Governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, wants to make changes that will ensure foreigners are no longer abused by the territory's immigration system.

Under local immigration law, sponsors are required to pay a bond equal to a return airfare to the worker's country of origin, with the fee commonly paid by the worker.

Our correspondent, Monica Miller, says Governor Lolo has received repeated complaints from foreigners leaving American Samoa that they've had to wait months or years before getting their bonds refunded from their sponsors.

"During his campaign, many of the town hall meetings that he had with ethnic groups, the Tongans, the Fijians, the Filipinos, made complaints that when the people tried to leave get their money before they left the island some of them are still waiting 3, 4 years after they applied for their refunds. So yes, he has told the attorney general to find out what the problem is and speed up."

Monica Miller says there have also a number of cases where Chinese immigrants have paid big money for immigration ID's, only to later find they were not valid.