18 Nov 2014

American Samoa amnesty to get underway

7:12 am on 18 November 2014

People in American Samoa wanting to stay in the territory under an amnesty programme are to be contacted soon about hearing dates before the Immigration Board.

The Attorney General, Talauega Eleasalo Ale, says a unit has been opened in the Immigration Office to handle amnesty cases.

More than 4,000 people, who have been in the territory illegally, are expected to go through the legalisation process under a new amnesty law.

The Immigration Office is conducting a review of all files and those people with complete files will be the first to have hearings before the Board.

Others will be contacted to provide the necessary documents.

The Attorney General says the processing is authorised only for up to the end of September.

He says the amnesty law does not allow people who have been convicted of felonies to live in the territory and he says the Immigration Board has leeway under the law to decide the cases of those convicted of light crimes.