Posts Categorized: Archives

The Enduring Legacy of “Commonwealth”

When Puerto Rico is referred to as a “commonwealth,” the term is often not intended to describe Puerto Rico’s current status as a U.S. territory.  Instead the word as used by its supporters refers to a combination of contradictory notions of independence and statehood that has been called “a letter to Santa Claus” (Rep. Jose… Read more »

Soto Introduces Puerto Rico Admission Act of 2019

Representative Darren Soto (D-FL) has introduced legislation that would call for the immediate admission of Puerto Rico as a new U.S. state. “You can see the island’s colonial status is not working,” Soto was quoted as saying in the Washington Post. “It’s time to end the 120-year injustice of Puerto Rico being a colony.” “This… Read more »

The Vote in Puerto Rico’s June 11 Political Status Plebiscite: Analysis

Puerto Rico’s most recent plebiscite, held June 11, 2017, had a very clear outcome: 97% of voters chose statehood from the territory’s three status options (nationhood in addition to territory status and statehood). The islands’ political factions supporting nationhood and an unprecedented “Commonwealth status” that Federal officials have said is impossible for constitutional reasons  had… Read more »

A Page from History: The Puerto Rico Statehood Act of 1977

The Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Act of 2019 was filed this week. But that was not by any means the first Puerto Rico Statehood Act. Consider the Puerto Rico Statehood Act of 1977, introduced by President Gerald Ford after he rejected a proposal for “perfected commonwealth.” The Statehood Act was designed to provide economic opportunity… Read more »

Rep. José E. Serrano to Retire

Rep. José E. Serrano (D-NY) has announced that he will not run for reelection in 2020, following his diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease. His colleagues in the House have spoken about his long service, his tenacity, and his dedication to human rights. Serrano is also known for his work for Puerto Rico, where he was born. House… Read more »

Democratic Presidents Recognize Need to Move Beyond Puerto Rico’s Current Status

Both major national parties have recognized that Puerto Rico’s current relationship as a U.S. territory is untenable.  Republican presidents have unequivocally supported statehood, and Democrats in the White House have spoken about the need to determine Puerto Rico’s permanent “future status.” President Obama President Barack Obama noted in the release of the 2011 Report by… Read more »

Puerto Ricans in the United States: A Statistical Profile

The Pew Hispanic Center has for some time been keeping records on people living in Puerto Rico, and on people from Puerto Rico living in the States.  According to the most recent report, Puerto Ricans are the second-largest Hispanic subgroup in the U.S. after Mexicans, constituting 9.5 percent of the total U.S. Hispanic population.  They… Read more »

Republican Presidents Support Statehood for Puerto Rico

George Bush, Ronald Reagan and Gerald R. Ford all made ads favoring statehood in preparation for the 1993 status referendum in Puerto Rico. Mr. Reagan tells voters that “the United States will welcome you with open arms” because “we believe firmly that our strength is our diversity.”  He emphasizes that he personally favors statehood for… Read more »

An Open Letter from Power 4 Puerto Rico to 2020 Candidates

Governor Rossello has told 2020 candidates that he expects a strong statement in favor of Puerto Rico statehood from any candidate who wants support from Puerto Rico. Power 4 Puerto Rico, a coalition of political organizations, is taking it a step further. In an open letter to candidates in the 2020 presidential race, Power 4… Read more »

Government Accountability Office Reports on Hurricane Maria Recovery

Last Thursday, the Government Accountability Office (the GAO), released a report examining the progress made toward rebuilding Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Nearly $4 billion was committed to Puerto Rico’s disaster assistance, and just about 43% of those funds have actually been spent. Why has less than half of the funding been used a year… Read more »