7 May 2007

Commission reviewing political status of American Samoa recommends status quo

10:55 am on 7 May 2007

The commission which has reviewed political options for American Samoa has recommended that American Samoa maintain its status quo and continue as an unincorporated territory of the United States.

But it suggests that a process of negotiation with the US Congress for a permanent political status be initiated.

The commission made recommendations regarding immigration, cultural preservation, the economy, public education and the constitution.

It recommends that American Samoa not seek US citizenship for its people at this time.

The commissioner urges the Delegate to Congress to introduce and pursue the passage of a bill that restricts the status of a US national to children born in American Samoa of parents whose ancestors were residents of the territory in 1900 and Swains island in 1925.

The commission noted growing concern among native American Samoans that too many foreign nationals come to American Samoa and give birth to children who then become US nationals.

If the present trend continues, said the commission report said the children of native American Samoans may soon become a minority in their own home.