23 Jan 2018

US visa move against Samoa called 'stupid and silly'

3:53 pm on 23 January 2018

A United States visa move against Samoa is raising eyebrows in the country and the local newspaper has described it as "stupid and silly".

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Photo: AFP

Last week, the Trump administration issued a directive to remove Haiti, Belize and Samoa from the list of countries eligible for seasonal worker visas.

The Samoa Observer's editor Mata'afa Keni Lesa said there were no applicants from Samoa who applied for the visas in question last year anyway.

He said locals prefered seasonal worker schemes on offer by New Zealand and Australia.

Mata'afa said there could be other reasons for the US decision but it was surprising Samoa's being lumped in with Haiti which President Trump controversially described as a "shithole".

"Given everything that's been happening like towards the end of last year, Samoa was up as a tax haven on that blacklist on the EU list and that's not very flattering. And now we have been classed as those kind of countries as Trump said it's quite interesting for Samoa [and] we'd like to think we are another world away from Haiti."