Why Is Puerto Rico Not a State?

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.

Typically, a territory has to have a republican form of government before it will be considered for statehood. It also needs a large enough population, and enough economic resources to support itself and contribute to the nation.

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 116 years.

Puerto Rico was not put on the path to statehood

Surely these factors no longer come into play in the 21st century.

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.

30 Comments

cesar telen

i am a filipino but is tired of our political situation since the time we received our independence from the americans. can we join the USA? annex our country please !

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Joel

Wow I can’t believe some people blindly and fanatically want independence?! Do you know what will happen if USA finally cuts the cord and lets us loose?! The perfect prototype is Roosevelt Roads, look what happened to the economy of Vieques and Ceiba once the Navy left! Look at all the other independent island nations in the Caribbean! How does Haiti and Dominican Republic compare to PR? Is that what you want PR to become?

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Vince

I’m a Northern American that was born in a rainy cold land that no one cares about. I’m fine with independence for Puerto Rico especially if it means my tax dollars don’t bail it out ever again. Also if you have citizenship here, then I can have citizenship in your neighborhood too. Why not?

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Wilma

Little do you know? We are both U S citizens. Come visit us sometime. Speak English and use US currency. You don’t need a passport. It is sunny and warm. And you never bailed us out.

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Christine

True! Statehood is well over due. I live in U.S. and why shouldn’t you all get to be an official state. 119 years is long enough wait.

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Dow

Beautiful people with a wonderful spirit… nothing but LOVE

I served with some badass Marines from PR

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Truth Beam

Simple… because as long as the IRS continues to classify Puerto Rico as INTERNATIONAL instead of DOMESTIC… US Corporations get to evade US Federal (“DOMESTIC”) Taxes. (…and I guess !@#$ the “equal” US citizens of Puerto Rico).

This whole status thing is nothing more than repudiant hog feasting on its own corrupt principles.

All US Companies in PR evade Taxes. Walmart PR is a subsidiary of Walmart US. Therefore guess what? Puerto Rico has more Walmarts per square mile than any place in the world!! Coincidence? Nope. Walmart PR is making a killing while its profits leave the Island’s economy and they are “washed” (tax free) back into the “DOMESTIC” US economy and in through Walmart US.

So… amongst other things… thats one BIG root, that, just like many other US Corporations PREY on Puerto Rico with full Federal Government Support.

So why is Puerto Rico not a state? I think that the Federal Government also needs to answer on that.

EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PUERTO RICO NOW

Reply
Walker Gina

Puerto Rico has a deficit over 100 billion dollars. It has borrowed all it can, to the max, and is in great debt due to democrat politics. The US would be insane to adapt that debt, and add 3 million democratic voters to our elections. Democrat ran cities in the US like Detroit, are in debt, due to failing democrat economic policies. PR now wanting statehood as a bailout would be like Haiti wanting to unite with Puerto Rico, so you all could take on Haitis issues, debt , and poverty , as your own. PR would never do that. I do hope PR is able to better organize their government, revise their economic policies and elect more conservatives into office to turn it around. As a territory , PR is given much help and aid by the US, as with the recent hurricane . But we’re 20 trillion in debt ourselves. We finally have a republican in the White House to make smarter choices with our tax dollars. We’ve basically printed worthless money for 8 years and are paying the cost now. We can’t pile the burden of Puerto Rico on our plate. Vote for republicans who will better utilize tax dollars, and revise policies that have created the debt.

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Edwin Figueroa

Puerto Rico to my belief will never be a state because if Puerto Rico would become state then all the Puerto Ricans that are on the mainland would move back to that beautiful Island Paradise !!! And that’s what U.S doesn’t want , they want to evacuate the Island until there are none or few Boricuas left , and then only rich people will live on the Island, I believe this is their plan !!!

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El Libertador

You know why we are not a state? Because the United States did not want us to become one. That’s why we’re an UNINCORPORATED territory, not an incorporated territory such as Guam, the Virigin Islands etc. Don’t you think after all these years they would have made us a state if they wanted to? They dont’. Stop living in this fantasy land of thinking statehood will come, and be good for the island.

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Scott Bryant

Puerto Rico is not a state because Puerto Ricans have voted on several occasions to NOT become a state.Puerto Rico have had the opportunity to become a state and has turned it down over and over again. And I think it is strange how NOW after IRMA, Puerto Ricans want all the benefits of statehood but still will not vote to become a state.

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SWM

It’s not that simple. In 2017, only 23% voted at all – in a Country that regularly votes at 80%. Thus the PR Government considered it to be bad enough to just skip the move to Statehood. The time before that, “none of the above” actually beat out Statehood.

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JK Rogers

I couldn’t agree more. PR is greedy and does not pay US Federal Income Taxes, but wants all the benefits that Our Taxes Provide.

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Jorge A Rivera

Why dont you answer your own quetion. Your commets are a very SIMPLISTIC way to talk about what other states did but NOTHIN answerng your question.

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Austin Singer

Puerto Rico has to become a state if it wants to fix the debt problem. If it becomes a state the federal government will start flowing in money. My name is Austin Singer I’m a young Republican and I support Puerto Rican statehood

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K Lassiter

Cut PR loose! And while were at it lets cut California loose as well (for other reasons)! I’m fed up with the “Give us your tired, your poor” attitude. We can’t handle and don’t need any more problems than we already have and we certainly don’t need to hand out more money at the expense of the taxpayer.

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David Bush

Maybe the reason is because Puerto Rico has a Prexisting condition, It lives in hurricane territory. The US doesn’t want any more liabilities

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Olga

David. I live in FL. We are also hurricane territory. We’ve had more hurricanes hit us than PR has.

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Ezechias nieves molinari

Those morons who want PUERTO RICO AND OR CALIFORNIA “CUT OFF” is because deep inside they wish hard that they spoke other languages besides trumponia Moronicus…yes p*****o I speak the queens English and castellano from Spain …parlare italiani….

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Don Roberts

Wow, Ezechias really drove this discussion down! Donald Trump is Puerto Rico’s only real hope to statehood. There are many valid reasons for statehood and against. President Trump is the only president in my lifetime that refuses to play the political games at the expense of the people. Every presidential candidate has said Jerusalem should be the proper place for the U.S. embassy, but only he had the fortitude to do it. The pro statehood movement should drastically show support for President Trump’s re-election campaign, move him in into the position to promise it in his 2020 campaign and you will see movement. Trash the president and his supporters and spew ugly hate words as Ezechias has done here, and you will see the same thing that the history books reveal – nothing. I support Puerto Rico’s statehood and I am a Trump supporter. With President Trump’s leadership, we have begun to Make America Great Again! Will PR immigrants to the mainland settle to be drones for the Democrat Party machine and speak against their own interest or continue to cry harsh words about the status quo to be a sound bite for the Dems political ad or fake media sound bite?

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