July 23, 2013
The Honorable [removed]
U.S. House of Representatives
[removed] Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-5301
Dear Congresswoman [removed]:
As national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy group in the United States, I am writing to express LULAC’s strong support for H.R. 2000, the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act, introduced by Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi on May 15, 2013. We respectfully urge your support for this legislation.
On November 6, 2012, the 3.7 million American citizens living in Puerto Rico exercised their right to self-determination by holding a free and fair vote on the U.S. territory’s future political status. The results showed that a clear majority of Puerto Rico voters do not support the current territory status, and that more voters favor statehood than any other status option, including the current status.
LULAC is gratified that Congress has recognized the historic nature of this vote and thanks the subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies within the Committee on Appropriations for apportioning funds to the Department of Justice to provide non-partisan voter education in Puerto Rico.
H.R. 2000—which, as of this writing, enjoys bi-partisan support from over 85 Members of Congress—outlines the rights and responsibilities of statehood, and then asks voters in Puerto Rico whether it accepts those terms. If a majority of voters affirm Puerto Rico’s desire for statehood, the bill provides for the President to submit legislation to Congress to admit Puerto Rico as a State following a transition period.
It is a sad but undeniable fact that the people of Puerto Rico, despite being citizens of the greatest democracy in history, have a political status that is undemocratic and unequal. For both moral and legal reasons, it is incumbent upon the federal government to facilitate Puerto Rico’s transition to a democratic and dignified status. Because H.R. 2000 establishes a fair, straightforward and transparent process that responds to the historic results of the November referendum, it has LULAC’s strong endorsement.
LULAC National President