Senator Tuiasina clarifies his stand on immigration
Sen. Tuiasina S. Esera, who is also vice chair of the ASG Immigration Board, has clarified his statements, saying he is not biased against non Samoans in his proposal to curb the influx of Asians into the territory, but he is looking at the protection of the territory for future generations.
In his interview with Samoa News for the Lali last week, and also in the story published in last Saturday's edition of Toasavili, the senator used the Samoan words, “Ou te le faailoga lanu” — which is to say, he is not biased or racist against non-Samoans.
However, he says it's important to him to protect the local immigration laws and to make sure that foreigners do not take lightly the immigration laws of American Samoa.
In a previous English story published in Samoa News on Dec. 30, the senator is quoted saying he was looking at “temporarily suspending” the entry permits for Asians and other foreigners, while the entry permits for those from neighboring Samoa would be exempt from this move.
He said with this proposal he has in mind, the Immigration Board would be able to focus on the current overload of files they have on foreigners; and, at the same time, they could account for the number of Asians currently in the territory — because he’s certain there is no accurate count at the moment.
In his Samoan interview last week (published last Saturday), Tuiasina further clarified he does not plan to permanently halt the issuance of permits to Asians entering the territory, but his goal is to locate all Asians who are illegally in the territory, as well as other foreigners whose permits are not valid to remain in American Samoa.
He said it is the duty and responsibility of the ASG Immigration board to protect the laws of the territory and to prevent problems from occurring which affect local immigration laws.
Tuiasina has spoken often with Samoa News on issues pertaining to immigration laws, especially with regard to foreigners coming here to live and work without valid authorization.
In an earlier interview, Tuiasina said, that there is only one reason for setting up new businesses in the territory — and that is to provide jobs for residents of the territory. However, he said if a new business is opened up, but Asians are brought in to work as cashiers and store clerks, this means the law is not being followed, which calls for giving these jobs to local residents, first.
During the interview last week conducted in Samoan, Tuiasina reiterated his wish to locate all foreigners working in the territory whose immigration IDs have not been renewed or whose permits to enter have long expired, so that these individuals can be returned to their home country, to ensure our local immigration laws are not violated.
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