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People born in the U.S. territory of American Samoa should be recognized as a US citizen, a Federal judge ruled in Utah, Thursday, in a hard-fought dispute over the decades.
U.S. district judge Clark Waddoups ruled that the American Samoans to be granted new passports, reflects on his decision. The disclaimer is on the passports up to date: “The holder is a United States national and not a citizen of the United States.”
“This court is not to impose of ‘citizenship by judicial fiat,'” Waddoups said in his decision. “The action is required, the mandate of the fourteenth Amendment as interpreted and applied by Supreme Court precedent.”
U.S. citizens are defined as persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”
In this undated image file available to the non-Profit advocacy and legal set-group, As well as Americans, John Fitisemanu, American Samoa, and the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the United States, the full US citizenship. People born that should be recognized in the territory of American Samoa, as a US citizen, a Federal judge in Utah decided on Thursday in a case filed in the middle of more than a century of legal limbo, but their impact, if any, remains to be seen. (Katrina wedge you/As well American should, via AP)
American Samoa became a U.S. territory in 1900, but those who are born there, are only recognized as U.S. citizens, to prevent that you will be able to vote, run for public office, or to sponsor family members for immigration to the USA
Its status that separates it from other US territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. virgin Islands.
In 2016, the Supreme Court is not decided, it refused to hear a case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that the Constitution conferred citizenship to those born in American Samoa.
The lawsuit was brought last year by three people-John Fitisemanu, Pale Tulle, and pink Vita Tuli — that were born on the island group to the Southeast of Hawaii, and currently reside in Utah. They claimed that they faced restrictions on travel abroad and fees apply, not for the American citizens.
It was not clear whether Thursday’s decision will apply outside of Utah. The Ministry of justice and the State Department did not immediately return Fox News requests for comment.
“The takeaway from the ruling is that people born in American Samoa, living in Utah are now US citizens, and you have select all the same rights as other Americans, including the right to,” said Neil, we, President of the Also American and one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs are. “These people can now go and register to vote and participate in state, Federal and local elections.”
Camel Rock in the vicinity of the village of Lauli’i in Pago Pago, American Samoa. A Federal judge in Utah ruled on Thursday that people born in American Samoa granted birth right citizenship should be.
American Samoans can also apply for the US citizenship, but to pay the $725 application fee, in addition to any legal fees you incur, to help you navigate the process.
Fitisemanu said that his employment prospects have been decimated because of his rejection of jobs which specify US citizenship as a prerequisite. In an interview with The Associated Press last year, he said, he avoided political conversations, because he could not choose.
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According to the decision, Fitisemanu said he plans to register to vote. The American Samoa government claims that automatic U.S. citizenship could undermine local traditions and practices.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.