Wednesday, February 24, 2016

American Samoa Demands Citizenship Or Else Independence!

American Samoa is an unincorporated U.S. territory in the South Pacific Ocean. The territory is a chain of eight islands/atolls with the neighboring independent nation of Samoa to the northwest.

The capital of the territory is the town of Pago Pago.

The U.S. territory's governor is Lolo Matalasi Moliga who is an independent but aligns himself with the Democratic Party.

The U.S. territory is demanding American citizenship, voting rights and recognition. There are residents taking the matter into the Supreme Court.
Pago Pago is the capital of the United States territory of American Samoa.
Tuaua v. United States is being heard in the Court. What is being argued among the justices is the granted legal status of people born on U.S. soil. Those who are born in American Samoa are U.S. nationals, not citizens. They are denied voting rights, opportunities to apply for state and federal jobs if they choose to move to the mainland.

The Citizenship Clause of the U.S. Constitution provides that “All persons born . . . in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”  Federal laws and policies that deny citizenship to people born in American Samoa violate this Clause and are unconstitutional.

I was interested in the matter when comedian/satirist John Oliver of HBO's Last Week Tonight brought attention to voting rights not being established in the U.S. territories.

Lene Tuaua is fighting for the right to be recognized as an American citizen. 
We The People's Project has invested heavily in this matter. Lene Tuaua was born in American Samoa. He served in the military and gave his life to the country.

Tuaua v. United States is a court case that originated when a group of American Samoans sued the State Department and the Obama administration. They sued to force the government to award American Samoans birthright citizenship, arguing that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees that anyone born in the United States is automatically granted citizenship.

The case originated as a complaint filed in 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the case was docketed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2013. Briefs were filed in 2014, and an oral argument was made last year.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled 3-0 to deny birthright citizenship to American Samoans, ruling that the guarantee of such citizenship to citizens in the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to U.S. island territories.
Republican congresswoman Amata Coleman Radewagen is the non-voting delegate from the U.S. territory of American Samoa. She became the first woman and Republican to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Attorneys filed a petition requesting that the Supreme Court of the United States review the Appeals Court's decision.

They are pressuring lawmakers in Washington to full grant citizenship to those living in American Samoa. They are pressuring Congress to grant full voting rights to all residents of the U.S. territories.

The residents on these territories aren't allow to vote for the President of the United States.

Did you know that 4.7 Americans live in the occupied territories administrated by the United States?

The District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands have U.S. Representatives who are non-voting delegates to Congress.

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