2 Jun 2010

American Samoa Congressman issues warning for Pacific people in Arizona

8:31 pm on 2 June 2010

American Samoa's U.S. Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says he's warned Pacific people to avoid setting foot in Arizona - the state that's introducing tough, new immigration laws.

The legislation allows police to question anyone they suspect of being in the US illegally and critics say it's aimed at Hispanics.

Dozens of website postings have emerged from Samoans living in Arizona, with several saying the new law will hurt them because authorities are bound to mistake them for Hispanics.

Congressman Faleomavaega says he has urged people, even those living outside of Arizona, to carry their birth certificates.

"I recently had a community meeting with some of our members of our Samoan community living in the state of Nevada. And I've advised them 'if you know that your immigration papers are not in order' I strongly advise you don't go to Arizona. Because definitely you will be subject to immediate deportation, imprison or both."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin.

Arizona intends to introduce its new immigration policy next month.