15 Mar 2010

Togiola wants new American Samoan citizenship

2:36 pm on 15 March 2010

American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono, has announced that he will be sending legislation to the Fono this week which will establish a new citizenship category called American Samoans.

All babies born in American Samoa are US nationals but the governor wants to differentiate between children born to parents who are from American Samoa and those born to parents from other countries.

He believes this new category of citizenship will protect land, titles and public office for true American Samoans.

The Governor says people coming from overseas, whose children are born in American Samoa, would not be able to be American Samoa citizens.

"That is the goal. So they can be born here, they may still be US nationals. Because we can not cut US nationals. But the rights inherent in American Samoa citizenship, your land, matai titles, the right to run for office, the right to vote, and all those things, those are the important things to us."

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono