The Likelihood of Losing U.S. Citizenship in a Sovereign Puerto Rico

A 1990 paper by John L. A. de Passalacqua, “The Involuntary Loss of United States Citizenship of Puerto Ricans upon Accession to Independence by Puerto Rico”, brings up an enduring question that is once again in the spotlight:  whether Congress could take away U.S. citizenship from people living in Puerto Rico if the territory were… Read more »

Workers Rights in Puerto Rico and FOMB Objections

Governor Pierluisi signed a new law on workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities on June 20, 2022. House Bill 1244 makes a number of changes to the 2017 Employment Law Reform. The PROMESA Fiscal Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) has communicated to the governor that it objects to the law, and a federal court has recently… Read more »

Senate Finance Committee Issues Report on Puerto Rico Pharma Company’s Tax Tricks

The Senate Finance Committee has issued a report claiming that pharmaceutical company AbbVie is deceitfully sheltering income through Puerto Rico. The Report is titled, “Interim Report: Big Pharma Tax Avoidance” with the subtitle, “Senate Finance Committee Investigation Reveals Extent to Which Pharma Giant AbbVie Exploits Offshore Subsidiaries to Avoid Paying Taxes on U.S. Drug Sales”…. Read more »

Risks for an Associated Republic of Puerto Rico


If the Puerto Rico Status Act becomes law, Puerto Rico will no longer be a territory of the United States. It will be the 51st state, or the Republic of Puerto Rico, or perhaps the Associated Republic of Puerto Rico. Statehood is a clear and certain status; the U.S. Constitution requires that new states enter… Read more »

What Will Happen to Veterans Hospitals under Free Association?

Puerto Rico is home to some 72,679 veterans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. There are currently 10 Veterans Administration medical facilities on the Island. The most recent figures from the Veterans Administration (VA) show that the VA hospital in San Juan received just 2 of 5 possible stars in their official review. There are… Read more »

The Elusive Promise of Special Treatment for Puerto Rico

Since the 1950s there has been a story that Puerto Rico’s relationship with the U.S. is unique and, unlike all other U.S. territories, this relationship confers entitlements and powers that are even greater than those found in states. The First Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion last week that clarifies, once again, that this… Read more »

U.N. Again Considers Next Step for Puerto Rico

United Nations

The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization approved a resolution this month “reaffirming the inalienable right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence.” Over the past 50 years, this committee has made this same resolution 40 times. As Andrés L. Córdova, a law professor at Inter American University of Puerto Rico, pointed out… Read more »

The Definition of Statehood

A number of people in favor of Puerto Rican independence spoke at a public hearing on the Puerto Rico Status Act on the need for clarity and further elaboration of the definition of statehood included in the proposal. There are currently 50 states, providing precedent on the rights of U.S. citizens living in a state…. Read more »

The Puerto Rico Status Act: After the Vote

The Puerto Rico Status Act, a proposal compiled from two Puerto Rico status bills introduced during the current Congress, is pending before Congress and awaits consideration in a key committee. The options on the ballot, the definition of each option, and the fate of U.S. citizenship in a sovereign nation of Puerto Rico have been… Read more »

Will The Puerto Rico Status Act Become Law?

The Puerto Rico Status Act is a proposal built on ideas contained in two competing bills on Puerto Rico’s political status. Members of Congress spent months working to come up with a bill that both sides — statehood and independence supporters — could support. If the bill becomes law, it will offer statehood or sovereignty… Read more »