Should the U.S. Acknowledge the Racist Past of the Insular Cases?

Should the U.S. acknowledge its racist past that is on display in the Insular Cases?  A bill introduced by the current Congress asks the nation to do just this. The Insular Cases are a series of Supreme Court cases decided in the early 1990’s.  HR 279, a bill introduced in the spring of 2021, calls on… Read more »

U.S. Citizenship “Recognized, Protected, and Secured” only under Statehood

In the Puerto Rico Statehood Act (HR 8393), a legislative proposal that appears to be dying as Congress prepares to adjourn for the year, U.S. citizenship is “recognized, protected, and secured” only if Puerto Rico becomes a state. Some supporters of nationhood for Puerto Rico – either clean independence or in a free association arrangement… Read more »

Supreme Court Again Avoids Examination of Insular Cases

Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico (FADEP) v. Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico,  is a U.S. court case brought by the Puerto Rico teachers’ union after the PROMESA Fiscal Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) extended the retirement age for teachers and reduced their pensions. The case also specifically asked for a review… Read more »

Puerto Rico Status Issue Crosses Political Party Lines

Puerto Rico’s status as a territory of the United States is an issue that transcends the traditional parameters of political partisanship. When it comes to the possibility of statehood, Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in Congress, Republican Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon, is in sync with Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) that statehood is the best arrangement… Read more »

Rep. Liz Cheney: “Puerto Rico Should Be a State”

  Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) had a conversation with students at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics recently. A student asked about Puerto Rico’s political status. “As a native Puerto Rican, every election season I see the results of my local election and wonder why as an American citizen I cannot vote or have… Read more »

Persistent Poverty in Puerto Rico

The Congressional Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance held a hearing entitled “Persistent Poverty in America: Addressing Chronic Disinvestment in Colonias, the Southern Black Belt, and the U.S. Territories” on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. These were the witnesses: Amber Arriaga-Salinas, Assistant Executive Director, Proyecto Azteca Yarimar Bonilla, Director, Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter… Read more »

Constitutional vs. Statutory Citizenship in Puerto Rico

People born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens by birth. However, this kind of citizenship is not the same as the kind of citizenship people born in states have. The key to understanding the difference is this: Constitutional vs. Statutory citizenship. Constitutional citizenship The 14th Amendment of the Constitution says:  “All persons born or naturalized… Read more »

Organizations Call for Quick End to Puerto Rico’s Status as a U.S. Territory

On Monday, thirty Puerto Rican organizations wrote to President Biden demanding quick action on Puerto Rico’s political status by passing the Puerto Rico Status Act by the end of the year. The letter began by thanking the president for his swift response following Hurricane Fiona. “Unfortunately,” the letter continued, “federal aid and support for disaster… Read more »

Puerto Rican Voters Support Florida Republicans in Midterm Votes

Rick DeSantis and Marco Rubio both swept into wins in the midterm elections, DeSantis as Governor of Florida and Rubio keeping his seat in the Senate. Both were supported by Puerto Rican voters in Florida. While early polls showed Puerto Rican voters trending toward Democratic candidates, that’s now how election night played out. According to… Read more »

Ending Puerto Rico’s Status as a U.S. Colony under the Constitution

Until recently, no one dared to call Puerto Rico a colony. Puerto Rican leaders took offense at the idea.  Equally, stateside politicians bristled at the characterization of the U.S., as a beacon of democracy, acting as a colonial power. Recently, however, there has been more widespread recognition that the relationship between the United States and… Read more »