Last updated on: 12/12/2019 | Author:

2019 – American Samoans Ruled US Citizens by Birth

“A federal judge in Utah said Thursday that American Samoans are US citizens and should be issued new passports reflecting that.

‘This court is not imposing ‘citizenship by judicial fiat.’ The action is required by the mandate of the Fourteenth Amendment as construed and applied by Supreme Court precedent,’ wrote Judge Clark Waddoups in the US District Court for the District
of Utah…

It’s unclear whether Waddoups’ order applies to American Samoans beyond Utah…

American Samoa has been a US territory since 1900. Those born in the other US territories — Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Marianas — all get citizenship at birth, but that was determined by statute in Congress. No such law exists for American Samoa.

American Samoans living in Utah brought the suit in 2018, arguing that being ‘non-citizen nationals,’ instead of US citizens closed the door to some employment opportunities and didn’t allow them to vote, among other rights
afforded to US citizens.

Their passports also include a disclaimer that reads: ‘The bearer is a United States national and not a United States citizen.'”