Do Voter ID Laws Affect Puerto Ricans Disproportionately?

Although Puerto Ricans can’t vote in presidential elections as long as they reside in Puerto Rico, they can vote when they move to the mainland, as millions do.  After all, Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. However, Pennsylvania newspaper Philly.com has reported that the recent spate of voter ID laws may prevent many Puerto Ricans from voting in any election in the… Read more »

Nutrition Assistance in Puerto Rico: What It Means to be a Territory

Congressional consideration of the 2012 Farm Bill is once again raising issues about Puerto Rico’s status as a territory and the practical implications of that status. The United States Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill on June 21st.  The Agriculture Committee in the House of Representatives approved a different version of the bill on July 12th.  The Agriculture… Read more »

Working Against Drug-Related Violence in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño is engaged in a series of meetings with federal government officials with an eye towards solving the problem of drug trafficking and associated violence in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico’s Olympic Team: How Important Is It?

Puerto Rico’s basketball team has lost to Lithuania in the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, disqualifying it from Olympic consideration this year. Puerto Rico has fielded an Olympic team since 1948, when, according to the Wall Street Journal, “the International Olympic Committee was in the market for members” following the upheaval of World War II. Puerto… Read more »

Myth vs. Fact on the Commonwealth Option

 “Commonwealth is the option of status that best represents the aspirations of the People of Puerto Rico.”  Opening sentence of the Commonwealth Party Platform, as translated from  El Nuevo Dia, June 7, 2012. “Under the Commonwealth option, Puerto Rico would remain, as it is today, under the jurisdiction of the Territory Clause.”  Report by the… Read more »

Should Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Be Allowed to Vote?

Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner is officially nonvoting — but in the past those in this position have been allowed to vote on the floor, being asked to abstain only when their votes would make a difference to the outcome of a vote. Since a single vote rarely determines the outcome, Puerto Rico had a means… Read more »

The Health Care Law: A Status Issue

While much has been written about the potential impact on Puerto Rico and the rest of the country if the Supreme Court had overturned the Affordable Care Act (ACA), lost in the discussion is the fact that Puerto Rico was never guaranteed inclusion in the federal law at all.  In fact, Puerto Rico was left… Read more »

Puerto Rico at the Olympics

Puerto Rico will compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics independently of the United States, as it has since 1948. The National Olympic Committee for Puerto Rico was recognized in 1948 by the International Olympic Committee. How can Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, have its own Olympic team? As it happens, the Olympics… Read more »

Bilingual Instruction Grows in Puerto Rico

Governor Fortuño is working toward a bold program of bilingual instruction in Puerto Rico’s schools, mandating coursework in both the island’s official languages for all courses except history. The program is currently in a dozen schools, and is expected to roll out into first grade classrooms in 31 more schools, reaching all of Puerto Rico’s… Read more »