Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata, American Samoa's representative to Congress, has introduced a bill that would facilitate a simplified citizenship-change process for any American Samoan who wishes to convert to U.S. citizenship.
Amata is proposing that certain stringent requirements for naturalization be waived. The bill lists continuous physical residency in any U.S. jurisdiction as the only requirement for eligibility.
H.R. 1941 seeks to redress American Samoans' obscure status — they are U.S. nationals but not U.S. citizens — and offers an option for those who wish to become full-fledged American citizens without imposing on the territory's general population.
American Samoans are divided over the citizenship issue. While many prefer that the territory keep the status quo, others advocate for U.S. citizenship.