24 Apr 2007

Call for overstayers to be isolated from other alleged offenders in American Samoa

7:11 pm on 24 April 2007

A judge in American Samoa, John Ward, has called for the government to set up a special detention centre to house illegal overstayers before they are returned to their home country.

Judge Ward made the comment during a district court hearing last week for two Chinese overstayers.

He says people facing overstaying charges are incarcerated with other alleged offenders and he says there is a need to house them in a separate facility until their cases are heard.

Earlier this month chief justice Michael Kruse wrote to the attorney general's office suggesting improvements to the territorial correctional facility, including a separate detention facility for those in custody solely because of their illegal immigration status.