Judge Says American Samoans Are Birthright US Citizens

Law360 (December 12, 2019, 9:25 PM EST) -- A Utah federal judge on Thursday held that three Utah residents born in American Samoa, a U.S. territory, are birthright American citizens, striking down a statute that gave them a lesser status as unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups held that people born in American Samoa, a U.S. territory encompassing seven islands in the South Pacific, are considered "in the United States" under the language of the Fourteenth Amendment's citizenship clause establishing birthright U.S. citizenship. People born in American Samoa are currently considered U.S. "nationals" under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

In a 69-page opinion, Judge Waddoups traced the history of citizenship...

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