5 Feb 2019

Tuilaepa not against American Samoa immigration changes

6:31 am on 5 February 2019

Samoa's prime minister says he wouldn't be against changes to immigration laws currently being debated in neighbouring American Samoa.

Samoa PM and Police Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegoai

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZ Pacific /Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The territory is discussing the 'federalising' of its immigration system as a way to tighten entry into the US territory.

It would also see an influx of border security money from the federal government.

But it would also likely mean Samoans wouldn't be able to travel there as guest workers, and American Samoans would no longer be able to go to Samoa using just their certificates of identity.

A Senate hearing last week heard that the majority of overstayers in the territory were from Samoa.

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, said he would support federalisation if it helped crack down on overstayers.