I’m voting for 3 million Puerto Ricans on the island… Puerto Rico doesn’t have a voice. Our voice is via the United States.
- Puerto Rico’s 3 million inhabitants are U.S. citizens
- Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory since 1917.
- Like residents of District of Columbia, Puerto Rico has one non-voting member in the House of Representatives, however, DC residents have voted in presidential elections since 1964 (23rd amendment).
- Puerto Ricans, like residents of other U.S. territories like Guam, cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections *unless* they establish residency in a U.S. state.
- Florida, a crucial swing state, has the largest share of Puerto Rican voters.
- Both presidential campaigns court Puerto Ricans as a means of reaching their friends and relatives who live stateside AND will vote in this year’s election.
- CONTEXT: In recent years, many Puerto Ricans have fled to the state amid the destruction caused by hurricanes & earthquakes, as well as a billion-dollar debt crisis.
- FYI: Puerto Ricans won’t vote for president on November 3, but they will vote for the sixth time on U.S. statehood. The referendum’s results are symbolic because the power to grant statehood lies in the U.S. congress.
A good read on this topic: CLICK HERE
TWO DIFFERENT READS ON PUERTO RICO BECOMING A STATE:
The idea is a simple one: On Nov. 3, our fellow Americans residing in Puerto Rico will vote on whether to become a state. If they vote yes, we should admit them as a state to the union without delay. // It’s time for this debate to finally be decided and resolved for the good of the Island. Puerto Ricans cherish their American citizenship, a prized right sought by millions of immigrants across the world.
From the famed Borinqueneers to countless current members of the U.S. military, Puerto Ricans have answered the call to defend our nation at higher percentages than most states, despite their lack of votes. They also understand that statehood — equality — would bring equal opportunities as well as equality in federal programs. A better quality of life and more opportunities for every Puerto Rican would allow Puerto Ricans not to be forced to leave their beloved Island.
The idea of statehood remains divisive in a territory that has long bristled at the decisions of the nation that claimed it in 1898. “Puerto Ricans never asked to be colonized, never asked to be denied their Puerto Rican citizenship and never asked to have U.S. citizenship imposed on them,” writes legal professor Jacqueline N. Font-Guzmán for the Washington Post. “They are colonial subjects of the United States.”
For Puerto Rico to become a state, it will need the support of U.S. citizens on the island and off.
by Jenna Lee,