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Togiola urges soldiers to think again about supporting CAC proposal

Gov. Togiola Tulafono has told Samoans soldiers stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington state not to rush into supporting a proposed legal challenge by Washington D.C. based group Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) because of the impact it may have on our Samoan culture.

Congressman Faleomavaega Eni first revealed last month that CAC has a proposed plan to file suit in federal court to make the citizenship clause of the U.S. Constitution apply to persons born in American Samoa. Faleomavaega has strongly opposed such action.

Togiola, who returned to the territory last Thursday following off-island meetings, said that during a stop over at Fort Lewis early this month to meet with Samoan soldiers, the citizenship issue was raised by soldiers, who are supportive of the CAC’s proposed plan.

The governor said he urged our Toa o Samoa not to push or rush into any decision to have persons born in American Samoa become automatic U.S. citizens because that may have some serious impact on our Samoan land and titles and culture.

Currently, all persons born in American Samoa are considered U.S. Nationals and must apply with the federal government to become a U.S. citizen.

See Monday’s edition for more details including reaction from the American Samoa Bar Association on this issue.