Supreme Court rejects effort to grant American Samoans U.S. citizenship at birth

american-samoa-113759_960_720This happened a few months back, but it raises questions about sovereignty, the legacy of or existence of modern American imperialism and more.

1899 marked the year that birthright citizenship was formalized for those people born in the United States are automatically citizens. We can thank Wong Kim Ark for that!

But what about the American territories around the globe? What rights to citizenship do they receive?

“Those born in the other U.S. 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 statue exists for American Samoa.”  Technically, what the people of these territories receive is the status of “non-citizen nationals.

Yet– a statute in Congress does not exist? Has it been a question raised in Congress? Or is this the first attempt at gaining rights for American Samoa born?