“The Bare Minimum” for U.S. citizenship

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) fought hard to include U.S. citizenship under independence with or without free association in The Puerto Rico Status Act. Rather than claiming that Puerto Ricans already had the legal right to maintain U.S. citizenship, however, she has said several times that permanent citizenship would be “the bare minimum” owed to Puerto… Read more »

Free Association Negotiations

While Congress was out of town in August, the Congressional Research Service produced a new report on the Compacts of Free Association (COFAs) the United States has with three Pacific island nations: the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of Palau. Together these three independent nations are… Read more »

White House Conference on Hunger Recognizes Puerto Rico

In preparation for an upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health has released  a new report announcing “Ambitious, Actionable Recommendations to End Hunger, Advance Nutrition, and Improve Health in the United States.” The report introduces a series of bold suggestions centering on six efforts: Improving… Read more »

Diesel Fuel on Freely Associated State Ship Gets Jones Act Waiver

GH Parks

A ship laden with 300,000 barrels of diesel fuel spent six hours off the cost of Puerto Rico waiting for permission to deliver the much-needed fuel to Puerto Rico. The ship sailed under a flag from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and was traveling from Texas City to Guayanilla, Puerto Rico.  This delivery fell… Read more »

Congressional Experts Link Independence and Free Association

Is free association a form of independence? Supporters of the free association option in pending federal legislation – the Puerto Rico Status Act – see a big difference. However, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), which provides unbiased, non-partisan factual background for members of Congress, sees things differently. A new report, “Statehood Process and Political Status… Read more »

What Is Sovereignty?

Terms like “free association” and “commonwealth” can understandably be confusing because there is actual disagreement or a lack of awareness of what those words mean, but “sovereignty” should not cause as much confusion as it does. Sovereignty is about power: specifically, who has the power? The Supreme Court in Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle determined that… Read more »

What Is Statehood?

Some critics of the proposed Puerto Rico Status Act continue to demand clarification of the definition of statehood. This may seem odd, since we have 50 states to look at as examples.  We can also look to the U.S. Constitution, the primary law of the land, to explain what a state is and how it… Read more »

Puerto Ricans and Intermarriage

Recent research reports one surprising difference between Hispanic people born in a state and those who move into a state: those born in the states are more likely to marry people who are themselves born in a state. The study included people from Puerto Rico as well as Spanish-speaking individuals from foreign countries. History Research… Read more »

Misunderstanding over “Commonwealth” Continues

While Congress is in its August recess, with House Members back home in their districts and preparing for November elections, the Puerto Rico Status Act (HR 8393) remains pending before Congress. The controversial proposal, led by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), calls for a vote in Puerto Rico on the Island’s political status. One… Read more »

Congressional Support Grows to Advance Democracy in Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico Status Act (HR 8393), a bill pending before Congress, seeks to allow voters in Puerto Rico to create a more democratic relationship with the U.S. by choosing a new political status from among proven, well-established, non-territorial options that would essentially either elevate Puerto Rico from being a U.S. territory to become a… Read more »