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Lawsuit over American Samoa citizenship dismissed

By Fili Sagapolutele

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:03 p.m. HST, Jun 27, 2013

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa » A federal judge in Washington, D.C., is dismissing a lawsuit filed by five American Samoa residents who say people born in the unincorporated U.S. territory should automatically receive U.S. citizenship.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled this week that the 14th Amendment's citizenship clause doesn't apply to people born in American Samoa.

Immigration laws classify people born in American Samoa as U.S. nationals, but it's the only U.S. territory where U.S. citizenship is not a birthright.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wynne Kelly argued that Congress has the power to determine the naturalization process for potential citizens, and the lawsuit was trying to sidestep that.

Eni Faleomavaega, the territory's non-voting delegate to the U.S. House, filed a brief last year arguing that Congress is the proper venue to decide citizenship, not the courts.

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allie wrote:
make them earn this citizenship....as others have to do. Best they stay where they are as they will not add anything to USA anyway.
on June 27,2013 | 12:10PM
8082062424 wrote:
really they add more then you on there worst day. not to mention they are the only U.S. territory where U.S. citizenship is not a birthright.. seem very unfair.
on June 27,2013 | 12:36PM
Anonymous wrote:
have them come into the country 'illegally' to become a citizen...
on June 27,2013 | 01:26PM
allie wrote:
I disagree. They need to become independent and pay their own way. They do zero for USA.
on June 27,2013 | 03:56PM
copperwire9 wrote:
You know this how? Just more of your blanket condemnation of anyone who isn't you?
on June 27,2013 | 04:48PM
RichardCory wrote:
Oh boy, here we go.
on June 27,2013 | 12:57PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
If citizens of a US territory pay US taxes and are required to register for the draft then they should be made US citizens.
on June 27,2013 | 12:53PM
ya_think wrote:
The only way that they will get US citizenship is if they(American Samoa) become 51st State. Most Samoans do not want to be a state reason being American Samoa's law generally prohibits the transfer of land ownership to anyone who is less than one-half Samoan.
on June 28,2013 | 12:10PM
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