12 Sep 2014

Immigration reform close in American Samoa

9:49 am on 12 September 2014

The American Samoa Legislature has approved the immigration amnesty bill, which now goes to the Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, who is expected to sign it into law, since he submitted it.

The Senate gave its endorsement last Friday and the House approval was made on Thursday.

If enacted into law, the bill will allow more than 2,400 foreign nationals, who registered during the recent amnesty campaign to reside legally in the territory.

The bill also includes just over 1,000 people already legally present but waiting for their quota position to become available.

The territory's attorney general Talauega Eleasalo Ale had told lawmakers the amnesty bill is the first step by the Lolo Administration towards immigration reform.

He says it intends submitting legislation to fix legal loopholes which allow more foreigners to stay in the territory than necessary under the annual quota.