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Should Puerto Rico become a U.S. state or independent? Show more Show less
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Puerto Rico, one of five American territories, has limited power and rights under its territory categorization. Some mainland Americans argue Puerto Rico should become the 51st U.S. state. Activists in Puerto Rico go one step further—full independence.

Puerto Rico should become a U.S. state Show more Show less

Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory for over 100 years. No U.S. territory that has fit all statehood requirements and voted for a referendum has waited that long for statehood. It's time to abide by the wishes of the Puerto Rican people and give them statehood, which comes with increased federal benefits and the ability to vote.
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The ability to vote in Congress—and for President

Puerto Ricans are US citizens and have their own government, yet are unable to vote in Presidential elections and do not have a voting member of Congress. This leaves roughly 3.2 million people out of the voting process that America fought so hard to erect.

The Argument

Puerto Ricans cannot vote for US President, despite being US citzens and having their own local government.[1] This alienates nearly 3.2 million people from the voting process.[2] Further, Puerto Ricans are not represented in Congress. Puerto Rico is a colony in all but name, and it's time to make sure they're fully represented in the voting process. Puerto Rico does send delegates to presidential nominating conventions, however they cannot vote in the US general election.[1] While they are subject to federal laws, they lack voting representation in Congress. The island does have a congressional delegate, but they cannot cast a meaningfull vote. Jenniffer González-Colón, the representative for Puerto Rico in the US House of Representatives, can serve on committees and vote on legislation, with one caveat: if she casts the deciding vote on legislation, the House votes again—without her.[3] With huge pushes in the US to get out the vote and get more Americans registered to vote, it's unacceptable that a population twice the size of Manhattan can't participate in the electoral process. Puerto Rico needs to become a state to vote in our elections in a meaningful way.

Counter arguments

Awarding Puerto Ricans the right to vote in a Presidential election presents an issue for the electoral process. Republicans posit that one of the reasons Democrats want to make Puerto Rico a state is to involve nearly 3.4 million voters in the electoral process, many of whom would likely vote Democrat. Giving Puerto Rico statehood to vote in federal elections—which would also grant the newly found state two senators and more Congressional representatives—might lead to tipping in our democracy.[4]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/reference/united-states-history/puerto-rico-debated-statehood-since-colonization/
  2. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/11/15782544/puerto-rico-pushes-for-statehood-explained
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/us/Jenniffer-Gonzalez-Colon-puerto-rico.html
  4. https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/03/puerto-rico-statehood-conservative-case-against/

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020 at 08:52 UTC

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