6 Jun 2015

US court rules on American Samoa citizenship case

11:19 am on 6 June 2015

The Federal appeals court in Washington D.C. has ruled that people born in American Samoa are not automatic U.S. citizens.

A three-judge panel affirmed a lower court's decision handed down last year that only Congress has the authority to grant citizenship to people born in outlying areas of the U.S. such as American Samoa.

People born in American Samoa are considered U.S. Nationals.

The appeals court decision says the Constitution's 14th Amendment does not automatically extend birthright citizenship to the nation's unincorporated political territories.

They also say the appeals court was reluctant to impose citizenship over the objections of the American Samoan people themselves, as expressed through their democratically elected representatives.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs are expected to issue an official statement soon, and American Samoa government is also expected to do the same.

Hundreds of people get residence status legalised after an amnesty

American Samoa Photo: AFP

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