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American Citizenship Day Capped with News of President Biden Pro-Statehood Remarks

On March 2, 1917, the Jones-Shafroth Act became law, granting U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans.  Today, everyone born in Puerto Rico is a citizen of the United States, just as people born in the States are U.S. citizens.  This day has come to be known as American Citizenship Day.

Puerto Rican U.S. citizenship is statutory, rather than constitutional. There are consequences to this distinction.  Citizens living in Puerto Rico, regardless of their birthplaces, cannot vote in presidential elections and do not have full representation in Congress.

Over 100 years later, American Citizenship day was marked by a report that President Biden remarked to Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, after his State of the Union address, “If I lived in Puerto Rico, I would vote for statehood.”  Biden has spoken for statehood repeatedly as vice president, presidential candidate, and president.

Gonzalez-Colon, along with Governor Pierlusi and other leaders, held a press conference in commemoration of American Citizenship Day, speaking in favor of statehood.

Other leaders speak up for statehood

Others in the federal and territorial governments also spoke in favor of statehood today.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), who represents one of the largest populations of Puerto Rican constituents in the States, tweeted “105 years ago the people of Puerto Rico obtained U.S. citizenship. They’ve made immense contributions in war & peace. A majority of Puerto Ricans have expressed support for statehood—and America should honor their choice. Statehood ensures voting rights & true equality.”

Pablo Manriquez, a correspondent for Latino Rebels, tried to get senators to commit themselves on the subject, asking Senators and tweeting their replies. Similar to President Biden, most of the Senators who had studied the issue were supportive of whatever is the will of the Puerto Rican people, including statehood.

Manriquez did not delve into how elusive voter dreams for impossible arrangements of, for example, independence with U.S. citizenship might decrease support for statehood.

Is an Unconstitutional Choice Still a Choice?

Senator Gregorio Matias, of the Puerto Rico Senate, was among the Puerto Rican territorial leaders tweeting about statehood ahead of American Citizenship Day.

Puerto Rico has voted for statehood three times since 2012, in each of the referenda on political status held in the 21st century. Congress is currently considering two bills on the status of Puerto Rico.

1 thought on “American Citizenship Day Capped with News of President Biden Pro-Statehood Remarks”

  1. Dear; President Biden, Vice President Harris, Leaders in congress, Justice Dept, All American Patriots., This is your best oppurtunity to correct and make History on the 21st century. Puerto Rico allready if you check history have been through the self determination process this isn’t new the fact is that the only decission for Puerto Rico is to become the 51st state or become a Nation and for the Third Consecutive Time The Majority of the votes won to Becoming a State of The United States., wheather 50 people out of 100 voted it doesn’t matter in an election what matters is the amount who was the greates is who wins and so again for the Third time statehood was the majority of the vote and Now Ladys & Gentlemen is up to you to take this vote to the floor in congress and welcome Puerto Rico into the union as the 51st State. Speaker of the House Pelosi Needs to coordinate and make this Happen. Thank You

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