While Puerto Rico is currently a territory of the United States, the majority of Puerto Ricans voted this November to end that territorial status. 52% voted “Yes” in a statehood yes or no vote.
In 2012 and 2017, statehood also won in referenda offering the three viable status options.
There are good reasons to support statehood:
- The principles of the United States demand recognition of the vote of the Puerto Rican people.
- Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States, and should have equal rights.
- The United States should not support taxation without representation.
- “Enhanced commonwealth” schemes are unconstitutional.
- The current status promotes violence in Puerto Rico.
- The security of the United States is affected by Puerto Rico’s status.
- The economy of Puerto Rico would benefit.
- A stronger economy in Puerto Rico would benefit the United States.
- Puerto Ricans are leaving Puerto Rico for the mainland, where they have the right to vote.
- Both parties claimed to support the self-determination of Puerto Rico during the election campaigns.
Now it is up to Congress. Historically, every U.S. territory that has applied for statehood has been admitted to the Union. Puerto Rico should not be different.