Immigration agents “caught in the middle”

Employees of the Immigration Office are anxiously awaiting whether they will receive their paychecks on time this weekend for those receiving direct deposits and Monday for those getting paper checks.

Both the Attorney General and Chief Immigration Officer are not talking but employees tell KHJ News that in the last payperiod they didn’t receive their paychecks until two days later because of a dispute over where they should clock in.

The immigration officers say AG Talauega Eleasalo Ale recently directed that instead of them clocking in at the Immigration Office or at the airport for those on duty there, that they all clock in at the AG’s Office time clock.

This was because the AG felt that immigration employees working flights and vessels were abusing overtime.

According to the agents, Chief Immigration Officer Peseta Dennis Lutu made attempts to convince the AG that it was impractical for agents at the airport to come to the AG’s Office to clock in especially for early morning flights or after hours duty.

But the AG insisted on the change.

The Chief Immigration Officer is reported to have told his staff to continue clocking in as before.

When it was time for time cards to be prepared for the last payperiod, time cards for the immigration employees were not processed.

And the result was that none of them received paychecks on payday.

It’s not clear who gave approval for the special run to cover the Immigration Office paychecks which were issued two days later.

According to the immigration officers, they have continued to clock in at the Immigration Office and not the AG’s Office.

They’ve received word that their time cards for the upcoming pay period are not being processed with the rest of the Legal Affairs Staff.

Which means they wont receive their paychecks on time.

They are hoping that Governor Lolo will intervene because they say while the tug of war is going on between the AG and the Chief Immigration Officer they are caught in the middle.