U.S. Freely Associated States and China

A report from the United States Institute of Peace details the impact of China’s influence on nations that are in free association with the United States. These nations are the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Each is an independent nation with a special… Read more »

Congress Tweets about the Puerto Rico Status Act

The House of Representatives passed HR8393, the Puerto Rico Status Act, with all House Democrats and 16 Republicans voting in favor. Members of the House then took to Twitter to share their reactions. Announcements Many of the tweets from Congress were in the nature of announcements. Reps like Grace Meng (D-NY) and Jimmy Gomez (D-CA)… Read more »

Congress to Consider Puerto Rico Status Bill Tomorrow

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has announced that the Puerto Rico Status Act will be considered by the House of Representatives tomorrow. The proposal calls for a referendum vote that would enable Puerto Ricans to choose from among three alternatives to Puerto Rico’s current status as a U.S. territory: statehood, independence and independence followed… Read more »

Lessons for Puerto Rico from the the Respect for Marriage Act

Although the dignity afforded through Puerto Rico statehood is appealing to most Puerto Ricans, there are skeptics on the island whose interest in statehood is tempered by the belief that statehood will never happen, no matter how hard they push for it. Last week, Congress delivered a message to those skeptics when it enacted into… Read more »

National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators Supports Puerto Rico’s Inclusion in SNAP

The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators met this month for their National Summit. Among the resolutions they supported was a call for Puerto Rico to be included in SNAP, the national food stamps program. The resolution was presented by the president of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives, Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez, and state legislators… Read more »

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 »