20 May 2016

Am. Samoa Government, Congressional Delegate oppose automatic U.S. citizenship birthright in U.S. Supreme Court case

"A unilateral extension of U.S. citizenship could have important implications to the ability of American Samoans to control their own affairs in future. This has been strongly opposed by the elected governor and Congressional delegate of the territory which is already struggling to maintain their natural resources (fisheries) from U.S. incursion under their present 'U.S. national' status. It is amazingly disappointing that some political leaders in several other territories have been convinced to support such a federal intrusion against the wishes of the elected leadership of American Samoa who argue that any decision on citizenship is for the people to decide in the context of the exercise of their legitimate right to self-determination. Why would any leader in another territory oppose such a fundamental principle which also applies to them? There was a time when territorial solidarity would not have allowed for such divergence. That time clearly needs to come again."  - A territorial scholar.


Government, Congresswoman oppose birthright citizenship

Samoa News
By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa  Samoa News – The Attorney for the American Samoa government and Congresswoman Aumua Amata all contend that arguments advanced by plaintiffs and their supporters in the US citizenship lawsuit case amount to a plea for the Supreme Court of the United States to extend US citizenship "to the people of American Samoa, whether they like it not."

ASG and the Congresswoman’s office are ‘amicus curiae’, or ‘friends of the court’ in the citizenship lawsuit case, in which five plaintiffs — led by local resident Leneuoti Fiafia Tuaua— had argued in lower court, that because they were born in American Samoa they should have automatic US citizenship in accordance with provisions of the US Constitution.

However, the lower court ruled — and the appeals court in D.C. agreed — that only the US Congress can grant citizenship to persons born "in outlying territories" such as American Samoa. Defendants in the case include the US State Department and the Secretary of State.