4 Jul 2007

American Samoan governor objects to growing US role in local affairs

1:38 pm on 4 July 2007

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono says the territory is being treated like a US colony with the imposition of federal laws.

The governor says statements made to the United Nations Decolonisation Committee that the territory has attained self-government and is not being treated as a colony by the administering power, the United States no longer holds true.

He says the United States is flexing its authority, and showing who is in charge, which is a sure sign of colonial rule.

He says Congress was beginning to dictate laws, and even American Samoa's own Congressman was introducing bills without any consultation with leaders or the people of American Samoa.

The governor expressed concern about a bill pending in Congress that would federalise the immigration system of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

He says after what happened with the minimum wage law, where American Samoa was included in a bill that was intended for the CNMI, the territory must make known its position now against federal control of the immigration system.

The governor warned that once the immigration system is federalised, the territory no longer has any control on who is allowed to enter.