People have been moving from Puerto Rico to the states for decades, voting with their feet for statehood. Every state in the Union contains people of Puerto Rican descent. Do states with more of these people have more responsibility to Puerto Rico than other Americans? HR 2070 suggests so: this bill’s peculiar idea of having a Congressional Commission includes a preference for Congresspeople from the states with the top 10 highest population of Puerto Ricans.
We do expect Congressional reps who have lots of Puerto Rican constituents to be more aware of the issues affecting Puerto Rico. Stephanie Murphy of Florida said, “I care deeply about Puerto Rico because my constituents care deeply about Puerto Rico. But every Member of Congress should care about Puerto Rico because Puerto Ricans are our fellow citizens. We’re part of the same American family and we should fight for each other.”
Don Young of Alaska has a very special reason for being a supporter of statehood for Puerto Rico. He was born in a territory. He knows what it’s like to live in a place that doesn’t have full citizenship and the full rights of equality under the Constitution.
Because of his personal experience, Young has fought for many years to admit Puerto Rico as a state. Only a few thousand Puerto Ricans live in Alaska, but Young sees the injustice of the territorial status and knows that statehood will be an improvement.
Derek Kilmer of Washington is also a cosponsor. He has supported federal disaster support for Puerto Rico over the years and sees the value of adding another state.
Washington state has about 28,000 residents of Puerto Rican heritage.
Americans in every state should speak up for equality for Puerto Rico.
And the Congressional reps for the states will be the ones to vote yes or no on the admission of Puerto Rico as a state. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, please tell your reps that you want them to support Puerto Rico Statehood.