18 May 2005

Call for inter-Samoan immigration spat to be settled

5:40 pm on 18 May 2005

The American Samoan member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says he hopes that the leaders of the two Samoas will resolve their differences over immigration.

This follows stricter entry requirements imposed by both governments for each other's citizens.

The Congressman says some leaders see Samoa's permit policy as discriminatory.

"Allowing US citizens but not US nationals to come to Samoa without a permit, but I think you also need to understand the status of being a US national. Even on US passports, some countries will require you having to get a visa. I sincerely hope that in the upcoming summit that our Governor will raise this issue again with the prime minister and see if there can be a change in this policy."

Faleomavaega says the concern may need to be negotiated between the governments of Samoa and the US because American Samoa has no power to issue US passports.