Congress Pushes Back on Jones Act Waiver

The Jones Act, a 20th century cabotage law that most Americans have never heard of, is very controversial in Puerto Rico. Recently, it has been a source of controversy in Congress, too, as members of the House push back on waivers the Biden Administration extended to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona. What’s the Jones Act?… Read more »

Lessons from the Philippines for Puerto Rico

The United States acquired both Puerto Rico and the Philippines from Spain following the Spanish–American War in 1898. In 1946, the Philippines ended its status as a territory of the United States and became an independent nation. During the roughly 50 years in which the Philippines was a territory, U.S. law recognized Filipinos as U.S. nationals, granting them special… Read more »

How Predictions on Philippines Independence Played Out

In 1927, when the Philippines was a U.S. territory, Philippines Governor Leonard Wood sent a proposal to President Calvin Coolidge seeking his approval to hold a referendum on Philippine independence. The Philippines Assembly had already approved a resolution on November 19, 1924 demanding “full and complete independence” from the U.S., and the distant U.S. territory… Read more »

Supreme Court Declines to Review Insular Cases

The Supreme Court has declined to review a case that many had hoped would provide an opportunity for the Court to re-examine the Insular Cases, a series of Supreme Court cases that determined that the U.S. Constitution does not apply fully to people living in U.S. territories. These Supreme Court opinions have been widely described… Read more »

The White House on Puerto Rico and the Child Tax Credit

“A true injustice over the last 20 years in Puerto Rico has been that the CTC was available for almost all children in the 50 states but only available to a small fraction of children and their families in Puerto Rico,” said Gene Sperling, a Senior Adviser to President Biden during a recent webinar. “This… Read more »

Medical Students in Puerto Rico: “We Don’t Want to Leave”

Journalist David Begnaud interviewed a group of medical students in Puerto Rico, asking about the reasons many of them might leave the Island. NimB reported earlier this year that there are 9,492 doctors remaining in Puerto Rico out of 18,754 who were on the island in 2009. Specialists are becoming so rare that patients must… Read more »

Future of Medicaid in Puerto Rico Is Uncertain

Medicaid in Puerto Rico is subject to a paradox: with much higher rates of both poverty and chronic disease than any state, Puerto Rico needs Medicaid more than the states, yet receives less. This is one of the main factors threatening Puerto Rico’s economy. The territory’s government is required by law to provide certain services,… Read more »

Hurricane Fiona and the Pharma Supply Chain

After Hurricane Maria, there was a severe shortage of saline, the UV fluids used for most people admitted to hospitals. About half the U.S. supply is made in Puerto Rico by Baxter. The company was still unable to ship their goods more than six months after the 2017 hurricane season, creating life-threatening shortages. Hospitals across… Read more »

Do the People of Puerto Rico Want Independence?

Independence for Puerto Rico is an idea that has received increased attention recently …in the states. A recent article at NBC News spoke out for independence for the U.S. territory.  A complete severing of ties, the article reasons, is warranted simply because the United States doesn’t treat Puerto Rico justly.  “That Puerto Rico has to… Read more »

President Biden’s Support for Puerto Rico

President Biden visited Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, becoming the 11th U.S. president to visit the U.S. territory. He reviewed damage, listened to survivors, and announced $60 million in disaster relief funding. He spoke in Ponce, saying, “Puerto Rico is a strong place, and Puerto Ricans are strong people, but even so, you have had… Read more »