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Fri Oct 23, 2020, 07:20 PM

American Samoan nationals should vote for automatic US citizenship, not by judicial fiat

On Sept. 24, the (Honolulu) Star Advertiser’s online edition posted an Associated Press article of yet another U.S. appeals court in Denver considering the status of American Sāmoan citizenship (“U.S. appeals court in Denver considers status of American Samoa citizenship”).

Recently, I have seen an uptick in the way that U.S. citizenship is being used as a stick to measure inclusiveness of American Sāmoans as Americans by non-Sāmoans. There is an underbelly to this conversation that if an American Sāmoan is not a U.S. citizen, then they are not American. It is an attitude that implies American Sāmoans serving or retired from the U.S. Armed Forces are hoodwinked into service for a country that does not “give” them citizenship. Not so! American Sāmoans as territorial U.S. nationals may naturalize to become U.S. citizens; it is an individual decision.

Self-determination for American Sāmoans is the more important and neglected issue in this ongoing discourse. American Sāmoans should decide if they want to become automatic U.S. citizens. This should be done through the democratic process in which American Sāmoans vote to decide whether they desire to change their political status. Then, their U.S. congressional delegate should lobby for the desire of their electorate in the U.S. Congress just as every other U.S. territory has done to obtain U.S. citizenship.

Instead, several American Sāmoans are trying to push their personal agendas through the judicial system, in continental America, to force automatic citizenship vis-à-vis judicial fiat. Most people do not realize that no one is stopping any American Sāmoan from naturalizing and becoming U.S. citizen through an already existent expedited process and fee. The continental circuit courts have become dizzied with the various U.S. citizenship cases coming before them in multiple states. Each is reading different Supreme Court cases and selecting precedent without rhyme or reason of consistency as they try to decide, “Should we grant U.S. citizenship to an entire people?”

Read more: https://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/american-samoan-nationals-should-vote-for-automatic-us-citizenship-not-by-judicial-fiat/

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