“I BEG TO DIFFER … AND SO DO SEVERAL FEDERAL COURTS”
In my call for Mr. Charles Alailima to tell me why determination of citizenship is not a component of and comes before self-determination, he reproduced the testimony he submitted to Congress in support of HRes 279, which appears to be stalled in Committee.
When you strip away all the recounting of history and other verbiage, Mr. Alailima in essence declares that when our Chiefs ceded Tutuila, Aunu'u and Manu'a to the United States over a century ago, "(t)hat was an act of self-determination." I beg to differ and so do all the federal courts that have considered this question save one judge in Utah —who never addressed the issue of self-determination.
It is ironic that Mr. Alailima wants the appeals court to overturn precedent previously set and reconfirmed by this court. The Fono now unanimously has reaffirmed that our people do not want their nationality status disturbed and do not want Mr. Alailima's judgment to supplant theirs.
If he and his associates are so concerned about the citizenship status of Samoan Americans living on the Mainland, by all means they should sue the federal government on their behalf only, not on behalf of Samoans living in the islands. If he's so concerned all American Samoans in the islands should be citizens, then why is he afraid to make his case directly to the Fono and through them to the people by referendum?