Puerto Rico is not a state, and you have to wonder why. Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States since 1898 — more than 120 years. Territories usually become States more quickly than that. The video below explains U.S. territories clearly.
Territories must have a settled government before they can be considered for statehood. They need a large enough population: 60,000 has been the cut-off.
Statehood is granted by Federal law passed by a simple majority of both houses of Congress. Then the president signs the bill, and it’s time to break out the champagne and add another star to the flag.
Some States have taken longer than others to achieve statehood. Here are some of the laggards:
- New Mexico: 59 years
- Utah: 47 years
- Arkansas: 33 years
New Mexico was a Spanish-speaking territory, and some people in the United States were concerned about its cultural differences. Utah faced religious discrimination. Arkansas was a rather wild part of the Missouri Territory. Missouri cut Arkansas loose in its efforts to get statehood, and it took Arkansas another 15 years to get settled enough to achieve statehood for itself.
Puerto Rico has been a territory for over 120 years. Congress approved its constitution almost 70 years ago. It is now larger, more settled, and more integrated into the economic and political life of the nation than any previous territory.
It’s time for statehood
Puerto Rico has voted for statehood twice. Polls show that the American people, in Puerto Rico and in the states, favor statehood for Puerto Rico.
It’s time to recognize that Puerto Rico can only be a state or a nation, not some hybrid of the two. We favor statehood. It would help Puerto Rico economically, allow Puerto Ricans to maintain U.S. citizenship, and remove the United States from the difficult position of being a colonial power in the 21st century.
Let’s give up the fantasy options and work together for statehood. Join us today.
This post was originally written in English and may be being auto-translated by Google.