16 Jan 2013

American Samoa Governor calls for immigration changes

5:23 pm on 16 January 2013

The American Samoa Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga is calling for changes in the immigration system.

Governor Lolo says the system has become a vehicle of abuse of foreigners living in the territory, for example human trafficking and the government's failure to refund immigration bonds when foreigners leave the territory.

Under local immigration law, sponsors who bring in foreigners to live and work have to pay a bond which is equal to a return airfare to the worker's country of origin.

Governor Lolo says there have been repeated complaints from foreigners leaving American Samoa that they had to wait months or years before they got their bond refunded from their sponsors.

Governor Lolo has asked the attorney general to investigate and help those who are still waiting for their refunds.