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Immigration reform allocated budget in Special Programs category

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has allocated more than $300,000 in the new fiscal year 2014 budget dealing with immigration matters, including immigration reform. The funding allocations are listed under the Special Programs budget category.


The governor said identified “weaknesses in our existing immigration laws will require significant effort to develop new statutory language and the drafting of new policies and procedures to implement the changes.”


Lolo allocated $150,000, saying this money will go to defray costs associated with this work.


He then allocated $250,000 for an immigration computer system upgrade, saying that it’s acknowledged that the enforcement of local immigration laws has been haphazard over the years, and one of the contributing factors is “our inability to track the visitor after he or she enters the territory.”


He says the existing system has not worked since installation and there is no way to restore this system to workable order.


“Accordingly a new system is needed to allow for the registering of visitors and then tracking their whereabouts to the date on which their entry permit expires,” he said.