Florida Democratic Party Endorses Puerto Rico Statehood

The Florida Democratic Party endorsed Puerto Rico statehood in a resolution approved at its state convention in Orlando on Saturday.

The resolution – entitled “Supporting the admission of Puerto Rico as a state of the United States” – was part of the 2019 resolutions package.

The text of the resolution begins by pointing out that “3.2 million U.S. citizens live in the territory of Puerto Rico, who are denied equal rights simply because, under Article IV of the U.S.Constitution, Congress has the absolute power to make rules and regulations for the U.S. territories.​U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico do not have full representation since they cannot vote for the U.S. President,nor do they have elected representation in the U.S. Congress, except for a non-voting delegate called Resident Commissioner.”

The resolution goes on to report that 250,000 people have moved from Puerto Rico to Florida since 2010, generally in response to unequal opportunities or the inadequate federal response to Hurricane Maria. The document also points out that 77% of these new Floridians support statehood for Puerto Rico.

“Therefore,” the resolution concludes, “the Florida Democratic Party supports the self-determination expressed by our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico in their quest to acquire equal rights by becoming a state of the United States.”

Florida is the State with the largest Puerto Rican population, with more than one million Puerto Ricans calling the state home according to 2018 American Community Survey data compiled by the U.S. Census. Florida is also a swing state — a state which might vote either Democratic or Republican. Puerto Rico also chooses both Democratic and Republican leaders, and Governor DeSantis and Senator Rick Scott. As the importance of Puerto Rican voters in Florida becomes increasingly obvious, both political parties in the state are increasingly emphasizing statehood.

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