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
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.
The people of Puerto Rico have voted for it
Puerto Rico citizens have voted numerous times on statehood referendums. It’s time to give the majority what they desire.
Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens for over 100 years, but haven’t been granted the full benefits that come with citizenship. Completing the statehood process would grant those benefits and silence constitutional detractors.
Puerto Ricans are U.S. 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.
Puerto Rico would receive increased federal benefits
Puerto Rico has a number of inequities in federal programs like Medicaid and family tax credits, and is ineligible for food stamps for disaster victims. Statehood would immediately help out the island, which has been ravaged by natural disasters.
Puerto Rico was seized by America after the Spanish-American War and has its own unique culture, heritage, and ingenious people separate from the U.S. Puerto Rico deserves to be given what it once had—autonomy, and it's own, localized government.
Public pressure for independence
A growing movement on the island has been pushing back against the traditional statehood route. Instead, they’ve been calling for something bigger—autonomy.
Puerto Rico would have a more localized government
Puerto Rico has a local government, but Puerto Rican laws can be overruled by the U.S. government and all laws have to be within U.S. law. Puerto Rico deserves a more localized and democratic government.