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  • I favor statehood for Puerto Rico.

  • The people of Puerto Rico should have

  • the right to determine their own political future.

  • When the people of

  • Puerto Rico make a clear decision my administration will stand by you. It may

  • seem that US politicians support Puerto Rico's right to decide its future and

  • would even welcome Porto Rico as a US state, but their words have yet to turn

  • into action. This might not be surprising considering that when Hurricane Maria

  • hit the island, 46% of Americans didn't know Puerto Ricans are American citizens.

  • But they are.

  • More Americans call Puerto Rico home than 21 US states, but being a

  • US citizen in Puerto Rico is not the same as being a US citizen stateside.

  • Puerto Rico is an American Commonwealth and one of five inhabited US territories.

  • The island became a US territory when Spain conceded colonial control after it

  • lost the Spanish-American war. The federal government gave Puerto Ricans

  • American citizenship, their own Legislative Assembly, and governor. Like

  • other American citizens Puerto Ricans can serve in the US military and are

  • subject to drafts. And like other American citizens Puerto Ricans also pay

  • most federal taxes.

  • But unlike other citizens who face taxation, Puerto Ricans

  • don't have federal representation.

  • The island gets to send one politician to

  • Congress to advocate on behalf of its residents, but they don't have a vote.

  • This means Puerto Ricans can't vote on issues that affect the island such as

  • limited funding for Medicaid or food stamps, as well as a broader economic policy.

  • And while Puerto Ricans on the island can vote in the presidential

  • primaries, they can't vote for the president.

  • Puerto Ricans have voted

  • several times on their status and referendums. Early on an ample majority

  • of Puerto Ricans supported a Commonwealth over statehood or independence.

  • You don't want to be a state and you don't want to be independent,

  • you just want to go on living in the middle.

  • In the middle, no. In the Commonwealth.

  • Puerto Ricans today are divided on the status of the island. The latest

  • referendum shows large support for statehood, but the turnout was

  • historically low.

  • But no matter what polls and votes show, referendum results

  • are non-binding, because Puerto Rico can't become a state without approval

  • from Congress and Congress has largely ignored Puerto Rico's status, but as the

  • island struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria the issue is becoming

  • harder to ignore. Puerto Rico's economy started tanking when Congress phased out

  • tax incentives designed to attract investment to the island.

  • Paired with

  • fiscal mismanagement, the island's debt started to grow. To reverse Puerto Rico's

  • financial decline, a board appointed by Congress imposed harsh austerity

  • measures that reduced health and education spending on the island. As

  • opportunities lessen, Puerto Ricans are relocating to mainland US. The population

  • is shrinking on the island and their political influence stateside is growing.

  • Once permanently living in a US state Puerto Ricans can actually impact federal

  • politics. Puerto Rican statehood advocates want five House Representatives and two

  • Senators in Congress,

  • while Commonwealth supporters are fighting for increased

  • parity without sacrificing their national identity.

  • But despite political

  • efforts, it seems that Puerto Rico will continue

  • to belong to the u.s. without really having much of a say.

I favor statehood for Puerto Rico.

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B1 US Vox puerto rico puerto rico island commonwealth

Why Puerto Rico is not a US state

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    Taka posted on 2020/02/17
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