Members of the small American Samoan community are in a legal fight for new recognition.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Taffy-lei T. Maene had been in her new job at the Washington Department of Licensing for more than a year when officials began re-verifying workers’ immigration status in 2012.
The officials flipped through her passport and looked in the back, where the following was written: “The bearer of this passport is a United States national and not a United States citizen.”
An administrator fired her on the spot. Under Department of Licensing regulations, only US citizens could work there.
“I was so embarrassed — I was crying,” Maene recalled recently.