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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 20, 1997 - PACNEWS)--- American Samoa's Department of Education (DOE) has fired seven teachers whose applications for work permit renewals s were not approved by the territory's Immigration Board.

The teachers --three from the Philippines, three from Samoa and one from Sri Lanka--each have taught at local American Samoa public schools for periods ranging from six to 12 years.

The Immigration Board denied DOE's applications for work permits for the educators because the applications were made a month after the new school year had begun and the teachers were already working.

Immigration Board Chairman Senator Tuilefano Vaelaa said late applications for employment approval will not be tolerated, adding that the Board also believes continued employment of aliens unfairly deprives recent college graduate citizens from getting a crack at the ":precious few" jobs available.

The seven teachers will be deported and DOE fined $7,000 for violation of immigration laws, he noted.

DOE formally terminated the services of the teachers on November 9, but filed an appeal with the Immigration Board four days later.

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