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LULAC Weighs in on Puerto Rico’s Status

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has written an open letter to President Obama asking for prompt action on the results of the November 2012 plebiscite.

LULAC is the first and largest Hispanic organization in the United States.  Its letter emphasized that the organization  “cares deeply about the political, socio-economic, health and educational wellbeing of the Puerto Rican people on the island.”  LULAC has 147 local councils in Puerto Rico, and a large number of its members in the states can trace their roots to the island.

In its letter, LULAC acknowledged the plebiscite results for both questions on the ballot, noting that 54% of the voters suggested that Puerto Rico discontinue its present form of territorial status and that 61% chose statehood as their preferred new status for Puerto Rico.  The letter then makes explicit four ways “to help achieve the goal of the Obama Administration” with respect to the resolution of Puerto Rico’s status:

1. LULAC affirms that the votes cast on these questions by American citizens of Puerto Rico must be deemed a genuine expression of the preferences of the electorate. An electorate which participated at a very high rate (77% of the electorate). While LULAC does not advocate any specific resolution to the question before the Task Force nor a specific form of government, these results cannot simply be ignored nor cast aside. The Puerto Rican people deserve a prompt and affirmative response from the President and the Congress.
2. To that end, the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico Status should recommend to the President and Congress the necessary steps to implement the Puerto Rican people’s wish to depart from the island’s current territorial status.
3. After appropriate consultation with Puerto Rican authorities, political parties, civic groups and scholars, the Task Force should also recommend to Congress that it conduct a formal process of public hearings to receive input from interested parties regarding how to proceed in Puerto Rico’s continued process of self-determination.
4. Congress should then approve appropriate legislation to consult the people of Puerto Rico regarding how to proceed to change their status, a change they have requested, and informing them of the options that Congress is willing to consider.

Read the full text of the letter:  Letter to President Obama – LULAC’s position on Puerto Rico Status


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