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Do Voter ID Laws Affect Puerto Ricans Disproportionately?

Although Puerto Ricans can’t vote in presidential elections as long as they reside in Puerto Rico, they can vote when they move to the mainland, as millions do.  After all, Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.

However, Pennsylvania newspaper has reported that the recent spate of voter ID laws may prevent many Puerto Ricans from voting in any election in the states in which they live.Read More »Do Voter ID Laws Affect Puerto Ricans Disproportionately?

Nutrition Assistance in Puerto Rico: What It Means to be a Territory

Congressional consideration of the 2012 Farm Bill is once again raising issues about Puerto Rico’s status as a territory and the practical implications of that status.

The United States Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill on June 21st.  The Agriculture Committee in the House of Representatives approved a different version of the bill on July 12th.  The Agriculture Committee’s measure now must move to the full House of Representatives.  Puerto Rico’s treatment in the two different Farm Bills – and its history under federal nutritional assistance programs generally  – is illustrative of what it means to be a territory and not a state.Read More »Nutrition Assistance in Puerto Rico: What It Means to be a Territory

Puerto Rico at the Olympics

Puerto Rico will compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics independently of the United States, as it has since 1948. The National Olympic Committee for Puerto Rico was recognized in 1948 by the International Olympic Committee.

How can Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, have its own Olympic team? As it happens, the Olympics include quite a few entities that are not sovereign nations. For example, the International Olympic Committee recognized the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1967, Guam in 1986, and American Samoa in 1987.  The U.S. Olympic team does not object to the inclusion of Puerto Rico or these other U.S. territories as being included among “nations” competing in the the Olympic games.Read More »Puerto Rico at the Olympics

Puerto Rico: Commonwealth or Territory?

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States.  It has been a U.S. territory since 1898, when it was acquired from Spain after the Spanish-American War.

The Supreme Court has affirmed Puerto Rico’s status as a territory.  Presidents, senior administration officials in successive Republican and Democratic administrations, authoritative sources such as the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and Government Accountability Office (GAO), and Congress itself have consistently and repeatedly confirmed that Puerto Rico is a United States territory.Read More »Puerto Rico: Commonwealth or Territory?