A central Florida television station (Channel 9) was told that the Government of Puerto Rico’s office for providing services to citizens of the area “helped about 8,000 Puerto Rican immigrants … establish businesses in the State” during its just-marked first year of operation.
The incredible claim regarding the two-person office contrasts with Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla’s promise when the office opened that it would help direct investment to Puerto Rico.
Perhaps because he called the territory a “country” at the time, the TV station erred in referring to Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens by birth, as “immigrants.”
But, because they are citizens, the office can fulfill another of the goals for it that Garcia Padilla identified when it opened: registering residents of the State of Puerto Rican origin to vote in Florida. There, unlike in Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans can vote in elections for the president and vice-president of the United States, U.S. senators , and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives who can vote on the passage of legislation.
The office director is a former Florida Democratic Party campaign operative whose work experience fits in well with the goal of voter registration but has irked some Republicans in the State.
Puerto Ricans have been voting with airline tickets for statehood in droves during the past few years in particular. Well over one hundred leave the territory for the greater opportunities and benefits of living in a State every day. More go to Florida than any other State and more to to central Florida than any other part of the State. There are now more than 900,000 people of Puerto Rican origin in Florida.
Most who move do so because of the territorial economy, which has been failing at a faster rate during the past eight and a half years, after decades of falling behind economic growth in the States. Puerto Rico has lost a reported 21% of its businesses since 2006 — while the Commonwealth government says it is spending the tax dollars of residents of the territory to help citizens of Florida establish businesses.
The Commonwealth government, which is slashing services to residents of the territory, hiking the taxes and fees that they must pay, and still can’t make ends meet, is taxing residents of Puerto Rico a bit more to provide services to central Florida taxpayers that are the responsibility of State, country, and municipal governments in the area.
The office has even filled in for the Federal government in providing services to citizens in central Florida. It spent many days of its first year of operation and brought on extra staff to help middle income Floridians obtain new Federal subsidies for private healthcare insurance under ‘Obamacare’ that were not funded in Puerto Rico because of its territory status.
Will someone please teach the PDP boys at their Florida office that Puerto Ricans are not immigrants. We are US citizens living in Florida.