A federal judge has ruled that people born in American Samoa, a U.S. territory, have the right to birthright citizenship.
Currently people born in American Samoa are U.S. nationals. They have the right to travel freely in the U.S. and access to federal safety net programs, but can’t vote or run for office even after establishing residency in other states and territories.
Judge Clark Waddoups in Utah ruled that denying birthright citizenship to American Samoans violates the Fourteenth Amendment.
The government of American Samoa opposed the litigation, arguing that imposing birthright citizenship would violate the sovereignty, cultural traditions and right to self-determination for the American Samoan people.
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