27 Apr 2007

American Samoa government advised to be cautious over guest worker plans

1:29 pm on 27 April 2007

There is a call for the American Samoa government to allow the public to comment on the proposed guest worker permit legislation.

The former president of the watch dog group Common Cause, Dr Trudie Iuli Sala, made the call in a letter to Fono leaders.

The guest worker legislation gives the Attorney General the authority to grant entry visas to citizens of Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau and other Pacific Islands, who have jobs lined up with local companies.

Dr Sala says the proposed legislation is dangerous for the territory.

"It is not a positive situation in terms of economic development because none of this money stays here, remittances are tremendous they go out and that's what will happen here. A person comes and earn a pay cheque so they can send it home."

She also says an influx of foreigners will be an added burden for the territory's infrastructure and social services.