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Bill to increase number on Immigration Board signed

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga is expected to appoint sometime in the near future two more members of the ASG Immigration Board after signing into law last week a measure increasing the number of board members from five to seven.


The Lolo administration initially proposed an increase from five to nine but the Fono amended the measure from five to seven.


In signing the bill into law, the governor says the increase in board members will ensure a wider range of the community’s concerns are adequately addressed - but didn’t elaborate further.


The governor, however, questions whether taking the quorum from three to five members was necessary in view of a seven member board. (The administration proposal was to increase the quorum from three to five for a nine-member board)


“...I nonetheless desire to move forward and if future difficulties arise in regularly obtaining a quorum to conduct business, we can consider that matter at a later date,” he said.


Lolo’s letter didn’t outline any specific questions pertaining to the quorum set by the Fono, but an ASG witness told the Senate that in past year’s it has been difficult for the then-five-member board to convene its business due to the lack of a quorum, which was three-members. .


Prior to ending the First Regular Session early this month, both the Senate and House approved five members of the Immigration Board and they are Frank Gaisoa Sr., Rev. Fred Mamea, Sherry Butler,  Moetulu’i Sipili Fuiava and Rev. Aneterea Misioka.


Lolo is expected to send to the Fono when lawmakers return in July two more nominations for this board, whose membership must be nationals or “citizens” of the United States and also of American Samoan ancestry.


More details in details on boards in tomorrow’s edition, including the Retirement Fund board of trustees.