Happy 4th of July, Puerto Rico!

“Liberty and Justice For All” includes Puerto Rico

We are not sure why as Americans we understood need for a federal voting rights act and a civil rights act to end denial of equality in the 1960’s, but we don’t seem to get it in 2018 that 3.5 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico do not have federal voting rights or representation in Congress or the Electoral College.

Puerto Rico needs to be a state or become an independent nation to end the current status that does not serve the best interests of Puerto Rico or our nation. There are over 5 million U.S. citizens from Puerto Rico in the 50 states, including millions of swing voters in swing states! Anyone thinking 2018 midterm? 2020 general election?

Sure, we need a new national policy to resolve the status of non-citizens who enter our country unlawfully, but what about resolving the status of 3.5 million U.S. citizens whose families have been Americans since 1917? Puerto Rican Americans serve in the U.S. armed forces at a rate higher than most states.

But our fellow Americans from Puerto Rico now have to move to a state and leave their families for equal rights and opportunities that come only with statehood. Separation of families who enter the U.S. unlawfully seeking opportunity denied in the nation of their citizenship is a problem. What about separation of families of U.S. citizens who are here lawfully and were raised in our society as fellow Americans under our flag and Constitution?

Why should U.S. citizens be forced to leave families in Puerto Rico to have equal rights in the states? Instead of a de facto policy forcing American citizens in Puerto Rico to leave for equal rights and opportunities of statehood, we need to extend the blessing of statehood to Puerto Rico. If not willing to do that Congress needs to declare a policy favoring independent nationhood, and see how that goes over with 5 million U.S. voters in the mainland.

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