American Samoans may feel American, some may say they look American, but many can’t vote, reports New American Media.
Those born in American Samoa are considered nationals, but that doesn’t carry with it the right to vote. They are even limited to how high they can go up into ranks in the American military. They are barred from certain government jobs and often can’t be elected officials.
They do, however, have the right to live in the United States and apply for a passport.
David Cohen who served in the second Bush Administration says not being able to vote “contributes to the community’s marginalization.” He’s filed a brief in the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia hoping to change that.
“American Samoa is the only U.S. territory that does not have birthright citizenship and they responded to correct that,” Cohen said.
There are some concerns that American citizenship could change Samoan culture. You can read about that and Cohen’s response in New American Media.