The Puerto Rico Status Act: The Options

Over the weekend, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva  (D-AZ) and a small bipartisan group of Congressional representatives met with leaders in Puerto Rico for public input on The Puerto Rico Status Act, the new bill on Puerto Rico’s status. This is a discussion draft bill. It will go through a process of voter… Read more »

Legal Scholars Say U.S. Citizenship Available Only with U.S. Sovereignty

When it comes to U.S. citizenship, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is clear: “All persons born or naturalized in the US, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.” In a nutshell, this provision makes it clear that U.S. citizenship can be obtained… Read more »

U.S. Citizenship in a Sovereign Puerto Rico: Worth the Gamble?

One of the biggest issues arising in discussions of the Puerto Rico Status Act is the question of what happens to U.S. citizenship if Puerto Rico is no longer a U.S. territory. As a State, Puerto Rico would be covered by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Everyone born in Puerto Rico would have… Read more »

Public Input on The Puerto Rico Status Act

The Puerto Rico Status Act is a proposed bill that has been endorsed by the leading sponsors of two competing bills introduced in Congress: HR 1522, the Puerto Rico Statehood Admissions Bill, and HR 2070, the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act. The Puerto Rico Status Act calls for a new vote in Puerto Rico among three… Read more »

US Military Presence in the Freely Associated States

A new legislative proposal pending before the U.S. Congress, The Puerto Rico Status Act, includes an option for Puerto Rico’s future called sovereign free association. Free association requires a country to sign a special treaty with the United States, known as a Compact of Free Association (COFA). Three nations currently have free association status with… Read more »

Congressional Visit to Puerto Rico June 2-4

House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) will lead a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, including Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), in discussions in Puerto Rico on a recently released  Puerto Rico status proposal. The legislators will be in the U.S. territory from June 2 through June… Read more »

New Status Bill Unveiled, Public Input Phase Launched

At a press conference Thursday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-NY), together with Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Small Business Committee Chair Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Governor of Puerto Rico Pedro Pierluisi (D) presented… Read more »

Puerto Rico’s Plebiscites

Since 1967, six votes have been held in Puerto Rico asking people what type of relationship they would like for Puerto Rico to have with the United States. This relationship is commonly called Puerto Rico’s “political status.” The six referenda on Puerto Rico’s political status –  referred to as plebiscites – were held in 1967,… Read more »

The Two Meanings of “Commonwealth”

Although use of the term “commonwealth” to describe Puerto Rico’s relationship with the U.S. has fallen out of favor in recent years, the label still has a few champions left, as evidenced by a recent opinion piece in El Nuevo Dia. Referring to compromise Puerto Rico status legislation under consideration in the U.S. House of… Read more »