Puerto Rico votes to become a state

Jun 14, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

On Sunday 97% of voters in Puerto Rico expressed support for the island becoming a state.

The referendum was non-binding, and the United State Congress would have to pass a bill to change Puerto Rico's status from a territory to a state.

As a territory of the United States, Puerto Rico has some of the same rights as states, but not others. For example, the island has its own constitution and governor and does not pay most federal taxes. Puerto Ricans do contribute to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, in which they can also participate. They cannot vote in presidential elections and do not have voting representatives in Congress.

Supporters of making Puerto Rico a state argue that Puerto Ricans deserve the same rights as all other U.S. citizens. Adding Puerto Rico as a state could also increase tax revenue.

Opponents of making Puerto Rico a state note that the territory has massive debt. Statehood could make the U.S. government responsible for resolving some of that debt. Other opponents question the validity of Sunday's referendum result, noting that only 23% of voters turned out to vote, with some opposition parties organizing boycotts.

Should New Hampshire's U.S. representatives and senators support statehood for Puerto Rico? Share your opinion in the comments below.

Comments

Gerardo Defendini
- PompanoBeach

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 2:09pm

Puerto Rico was taken out of enslavement by the U.S. If anything, MY Island would have been lost a long time ago. Starting with the "Grito de Lares" to the many times Puerto Rico was the target of enemies, including the Cuban Missile crisis, not to mention that U.S. has been pumping billions of dollars into the Island (reason for the largest debt owed to U.S. by a commonwealth) The Island chose its own fate by electing their own present constitution (Estado Libre Asociado) and keeping it that way. Can someone tell me why should the U.S. grant ALL rights granted to a State to a place that does not want to become one? Time after time they have either refused to ask the U.S. for Statehood or refused to vote (the last Plesbicito reflected less than 50% of the voters). If Puerto Rico wants to have the same rights as a State, they need to step up and request it. Anything else would be unfair to the actual States. And if PuertRico has been (enslaved) by the U.S. and really wants to be free, they can do that also BUT, again, only 5% of the voters chose this option.
Enough crying for rights you are not entitled to. What is fair is fair. Either do something about it, or stop the crying.

JUAN RAMON CARRASQUILLO
- CHICAGO

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 4:52pm

the United States Government took PuertoRico as a result of the Spanish American war.After years of exploitation of my people the U.S., Having claimed the island as its own owes the PuertoRican people.We are American just as much as Hawaiins are. Why is the question of statehood still at hand? We deserve the same rights as the people of hawaii and Akaska.Otra Ves, nosotros somos eguales . We are american.

Sammy Rosario
- Philadelphia

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 12:47pm

Puerto Rico has been dealing with this issue for decades now. It is in a state of what I call "limbo." We are citizens of the U.S., but we have no say in presidential elections. We are not represented in congress. A friend told me this morning that Puerto Rico is like a property of the United States. You can do with a property what ever you want. You can keep it going, or you can discard it. Now Hurricane María has devastated the island. It's time for us to take control of our own future. Puerto RIco should become the 51st state. This is now a matter of survival. Being in limbo is for the birds.

Gerardo Defendini
- PompanoBeach

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 2:10pm

AMEN..............AMEN..................AMEN..............

Jen Nolan
- Cary

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 12:01pm

Limbo is not good-what can we do???

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