AMERICAN SAMOA AMNESTY ALIENS DO NOT FACE

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IMMEDIATE DEPORTATION

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 19, 1998 - Samoa News)---The "illegal" aliens who were granted amnesty to remain in American Samoa by Governor Tauese Sunia, but then failed to get Immigration Board approval, do not face any immediate threat of deportation, according to the Immigration Board Chairman Taligalu Sagale.

Last year, the High Court stated that the 2,391 amnesty applicants cleared by Tauese did not have legal residency, because the Governor did not have the legal authority to give it to them, and would not have that status until they received approval from the Immigration Board.

The Immigration Board established a December 19th deadline for the 2,391 amnesty applicants to appear before the Board for reconsideration, and then extended the deadline to January 30th.

Less than half the amnesty applicants went through the Board and were given either final approval or conditional approval.

To get the final approval, some applicants must still meet some of the requirements, such as paying the full immigration bond and obtaining police and medical reports.

That leaves more than 1,000 amnesty applicants in limbo, and potentially subject to deportation. But Sagale said that there are no plans to deport those people. He said the Immigration Board will be meeting soon to consider reopening the amnesty files to allow the foreigners to appear before the Board for reconsideration.

Sagale said that the Board will be seeking a legal opinion from the Attorney General's Office to determine how to proceed. But in the meantime, he urged the amnesty recipients to come forward and clear their records.

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

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