“THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT: CITIZENSHIP CLAUSE”
In response to the ongoing challenges brought forth by those who neither understand the true nature of said clause, nor do they understand American Samoa’s (AS) Constitution that became effective on July 1, 1967, I offer my herein assessment regarding subject matter.
First, the Fourteenth Amendment: Citizenship Clause states:
ALL 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 1951, the Department of Interior took over management of AS from the Department of the Navy. After much deliberation with an overwhelming popular vote amongst the U.S. government officials, AS High Chiefs and the people, the AS Constitution was approved. Because of our people’s unique culture, traditions, proclivities, and way of life, especially the issue of communal land, the language of the AS Constitution was promulgated and pledged explicitly to secure and to protect said rights and existence in its entirety.
On the other hand, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands obtained “citizenship” not through the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but through “Statutes” presided over by Congress alone. It was Congress who decided on a case- by-case basis. For example, Puerto Rico acquired citizenship, through the Jones–Shafroth Act signed on March 2, 1917. Guam acquired citizenship through the Treaty of Paris when Spain ceded Guam to the U.S. on December 10, 1898. U.S. Virgin Islands acquired citizenship after the formal transfer from Denmark on March 31, 1917. Similarly, Northern Mariana Islands did not obtain citizenship through the Fourteenth Amendment Citizenship Clause.
Further, if the citizenship clause is clear and the acquisition of “citizenship” of these other U.S. territories were approved in the form of “Statutes”, why the blind ignorance of filing these bogus lawsuits?
Shouldn’t the plaintiffs’ attorneys explain the due process, Constitution, and historical precedents to their clients before going through the second round of baseless and ill-conceived attempts to usurp ASG’s authority and its lawful representatives?
Why the theatrics? I can only surmise that the “inferiority” complex has blinded our brothers and sisters here in the U.S. who fail to discern truly the wisdom of our Forebears.
Finally, I would like to address all the legal representatives of the past, current and future plaintiffs — that you need to stop misleading the people with your “play-on” words and your manipulation of the law.
Emotions such as: second class citizens; envy of status of other U.S. territories; lack of understanding of the U.S. and AS Constitutions; hell-bent on deriding ASG and its leaders and people; and lastly, the desire to make a name for yourself through notoriety, usurpation and “le fia tagata ma le fia poto.” Mafaufau lelei i mea na maua i le afu toto ma le maligi o loimata i taumafaina e sefe le eleele ma le aganu’u.
In summary, the attempts to obtain citizenship through Judicial Fiat is one that causes incivility, wreckage, division, and ill-will.
The plaintiffs and their attorneys know very well that their legal argument is groundless and baseless; therefore, they have succumbed to trickery and mockery.
The law is clear and it is self-evident; the process to obtain citizenship of U.S. territories is also clear as is also self-evident through history and Congress. What is also clear is the political aspirations and motivations that have now been coerced onto the people.
It is the “pitting” game to divide. In other words, they knew exactly what they were doing, but went ahead and filed to create a “stir” of public shaming and public defense. They used these channels because they knew it forces the “hand” without regard to our culture and dignity as a people. It is shameless and cowardice. These are supposedly men of the law who twist and distort according to their ambitions and whims.
I reaffirm my support for ASG and Congresswoman Aumua Amata’s leadership and guidance in this matter.
Tu muamua i le mea sa’o ma le mea e tatau! Respectfully,
Nafanua Salamasina Malia Seiuli So’o Muagututi’a