17 Mar 2015

US citizenship a question 'for American Samoans'

5:03 pm on 17 March 2015
Aumua Amata, American Samoa

Aumua Amata, American Samoa Photo: RNZI correspondent

American Samoa's representative to the US Congress says a mainland court should not be deciding the question of citizenship of American Samoans.

Aumua Amata responded to questions in a town hall meeting last Thursday, that there was support for automatic US citizenship for persons born in American Samoa.

She says the citizenship lawsuit appeal in the Federal Appeals Court in Washington DC is for the people of American Samoa to decide on, not for a court in Washington DC.

"Now as far as this law suit in the Federal Court, that is a political status question and we must not allow that political status question to be solved in a court, especially a court that's ten thousand miles away. That is a question for our people to decide."

Oral arguments were made last month before a panel of three judges at the federal appeals court.