Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) has made a statement endorsing statehood for Puerto Rico. “I have always supported self-determination and equal treatment for all U.S. citizens,” said Nelson. “It seems to me that statehood is the answer.”
Nelson has previously said that people living in Puerto Rico should decide the status of the Island. Earlier in the month, he said that he thought Puerto Ricans probably felt, ” ‘Boy, we’re tired of being treated as second-class citizens.'” Days later, a statement at Nelson’s campaign website reported that Rick Scott, Nelson’s opponent, supported statehood for Puerto Rico, “and Nelson agrees.”
The most recent statehood message is the clearest yet.
Nelson voted for disaster relief for Puerto Rico in October 2017. He has also introduced his own legislation to assist Hurricane victims and signed letters in support of increased federal support for the Island through the first half of 2018. Nelson has a history of speaking up about Puerto Rico’s unequal treatment under the law. In 2015, Senator Nelson reminded his colleagues that Puerto Rico, as a territory of the United States, “is not a foreign country. Puerto Ricans are American citizens. If a problem exists in Puerto Rico, it exists in the United States. It isn’t something that we can just ignore. And it impacts the entire country.”