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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (September 29, 1997 - Samoa News)---The American Samoa Fono has approved legislation that will permit acceptance of immigration amnesty candidates as legal residents of American Samoa.

The bill, when signed into law by Governor Tauese Sunia, will increase by 2,400 the number of foreign nationals who can be given immigration clearance in 1997. The usual number is 350 a year.

The bill states that the additional aliens must go through regular Immigration Board review. Primarily from Samoa, they will be required to pay various fees and, presumably, post bond.

The additional immigrants initially were accepted as legal residents of the territory under Governor Tauese original amnesty program, announced earlier this year. However, the High Court of American Samoa ruled that the Governor's program was illegal and not valid. To assist the immigrants, lawmakers drafted a bill and passed qualifying legislation.

Governor Tauese is expected to sign the Fono's legislation into law this week.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to >

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