3 Mar 2020

American Samoa looks to toughen up on foreigners convicted of felonies

8:40 am on 3 March 2020

Any foreigner convicted of a felony in American Samoa will be subject to immediate deportation under a new bill before the Senate.

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Photo: RNZ Pacific / Dominic Godfrey

Its sponsor is former associate judge and senator Logoai Siaki Logoai, who has often lamented that during his time on the bench most of the offenders were overstayers, mainly from Samoa.

The preamble of the bill states the territory will not tolerate people who do not adhere to the laws and if they are foreign nationals they should be deported immediately to their country of origin.

"This will prevent the possibility of repeat offenders and will protect and keep the citizens of American Samoa safe."

The bill adds to the general sentencing provisions for felonies or misdemeanours that the court may sentence to immediate deportation if the defendant is a foreigner.