In 18 months, 800 foreigners were allowed under Special Provision statute
\Attorney General Fainuulelei Falefatu Alailima Utu says January 2022 to July 2023, 800 foreigners were allowed to reside and work in the territory under Immigration’s Special Provision statute.
Whereas 13 percent are government workers approved by the Attorney General, the Immigration Board approved 87 percent.
This was the testimony of the Attorney General before the Senate this week during a hearing over concerns by Senator Soliai Tuipine regarding foreigners that have flooded the territory and have taken over employment.
During the hearing, the AG made it clear this specific statute was approved into law by the Legislature and the AG’s office, and Immigration implemented it.
The AG acknowledged the concerns raised by the Senators; however, it's the law.
He explained that of the 800, Samoa tops the number of people under Special Provision status, then the Philippines, Fijians, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.
The hearing was called following concerns raised by Senators that foreigners are taking over employment, leaving the locals to fend for themselves, yet they are more than able to do the work. Chair of the Immigration Board Fanene Edda Wyberski told the Senators that a loophole with the Special Provision should be addressed.
While Fanene did not pinpoint the alleged loopholes, she confirmed that businesses bring their people to work locally.
Unless the loophole in the law is addressed, the Board cannot do anything, as the Special Provision is legalized under the Immigration Statute.
As reported earlier, Senator Soliai Tuipine said foreigners own local businesses, bringing their people to work at the stores.
He said foreigners born in the territory enable them to purchase and own land locally, which is concerning, and this should be addressed at all levels.