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Because those insular areas that are inhabited are unincorporated territories, their native-born inhabitants are not constitutionally entitled to United States citizenship under the Citizenship Clause. However, Congress has extended citizenship rights to all inhabited territories with the exception of American Samoa, and these citizens may vote and run for office in any U.S. jurisdiction in which they are resident. Residents of American Samoa are U.S. nationals, but not U.S. citizens; they are free to move around and seek employment within the whole United States without immigration restrictions, but cannot vote or hold office outside of American Samoa.
Residents of insular areas do not pay U.S. federal taxes, but most pay taxes to the territorial governments at the same rates as U.S. federal income taxes. Insular areas do not choose electors in U.S. presidential elections nor do they elect voting members of the U.S. Congress. Goods manufactured in insular areas of the United States can be labeled "Made in USA."
The U.S. State Department uses the term insular area to refer not only to these territories under the sovereignty of the United States, but also those independent nations that have signed a Compact of Free Association with the United States. While these nations participate in many otherwise domestic programs, they are legally distinct from the United States and their inhabitants are not United States citizens or nationals.
List and status of insular areasEdit
Incorporated (integral part of United States)Edit
- Palmyra Atoll (uninhabited, owned by The Nature Conservancy but administered by the Office of Insular Affairs; part of the United States Minor Outlying Islands)
Unincorporated (United States' possessions)Edit
- American Samoa (officially unorganized, although self-governing under authority of the U.S. Department of the Interior)
- Guam (organized under Organic Act of 1950)
- Northern Mariana Islands (commonwealth, organized under 1977 Covenant)
- Puerto Rico (territory with commonwealth status, organized under terms of Puerto Rico-Federal Relations Act) Originally was granted to U.S. through the Treaty of Paris in 1898
- U.S. Virgin Islands (organized under Revised Organic Act of 1954)
Along with Palmyra Atoll, these form the United States Minor Outlying Islands:
- Baker Island
- Howland Island
- Jarvis Island
- Johnston Atoll
- Kingman Reef
- Midway Islands (administered as the Midway Atoll National Monument)
- Navassa Island
- Wake Island
From July 18, 1947 until October 1, 1994, the U.S. administered the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, but more recently entered into a new political relationship with all four political units (one of which is the Northern Mariana Islands listed above, the others being the three freely associated states noted below).
Freely associated statesEdit
The freely associated states are the three sovereign states with which the United States has entered into a Compact of Free Association. They have not been within U.S. jurisdiction since they became sovereign; however, many considered them to be dependencies of the United States until each was admitted to the United Nations in the 1990s.
- Navassa Island (with Haiti)
- Wake Island (with Marshall Islands)
- Serranilla Bank (with Colombia)
- Bajo Nuevo Bank (with Jamaica)
Former Insular areasEdit
- Philippines, granted to U.S. through the Treaty of Paris in 1898, achieved independence on July 4th, 1946.
- Cuba, granted to U.S. through the Treaty of Paris in 1898, gained formal independence on May 20, 1902.
- Dependent territory
- Incorporated territory
- Organized territory
- Unorganized territory
- Compact of Free Association
- Freely associated states
- Guano Islands Act
- Guantanamo Bay
- Insular Cases
- Political divisions of the United States
- United States Minor Outlying Islands
- United States territorial acquisitions
- United States territory
- Office of Insular Affairs
- Department of the Interior Definitions of Insular Area Political Types
- Rubin, Richard, "The Lost Islands", The Atlantic Monthly, February 2001
- Chapter 7: Puerto Rico and the Outlying Areas, U.S. Census Bureau, Geographic Areas Reference Manual (PDF)
|This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Insular area. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.|