Should Stateside Puerto Ricans Get a Say in the Status Vote?

A recent comment from Marta Echevarria-Wild at PR51st included this point:

I think that I am the prototype of the majority of Puerto Ricans that reside in the mainland, and I have voted for both Republican and Democratic presidents for the last 32 years.  Besides the political and financial stability, I have very selfish reasons to want Puerto Rico to become a state. I  have made a life in the mainland but maintain very close ties with the island. I want my children and grandchildren to continue that close relationship and becoming a state will facilitate that while independence will be an obstacle. I should be able to vote in the upcoming referendum this year. The outcome might put me in the position of having to choose between a “constitutional” USA citizenship vs. a Puerto Rican one , so I should have a say on it.

Marta is not the only one who thinks that Puerto Ricans living in the states should have a say. There are now more people of Puerto Rican heritage living in the States than on the Island. People in Puerto Rico and in the States will be affected by any change in Puerto Rico’s status.

Only voters in Puerto Rico were able to vote in the 2020 referendum. That doesn’t mean that people living in the States will have no say.

As we have seen before, a plebiscite does not lead to a change in status unless Congress takes action. With no voting members, Puerto Rico has less influence over Congress than any of the 50 States.

If you live in a State, you have influence over Congress. Marta, you have influence over Congress. Research has shown that as few as 30 tweets to a congressperson can change that person’s mind about which issues are important.

Votes are important, of course. They are the way we make decisions in a democracy. But people can speak out and make a difference in other ways. Don’t miss your chance!

5 Comments

Gerardo Miranda

I believe that every Puerto Rican should have a chance to vote weather or not he lives in the Island. The reason we have left our Island is because of the bad politicians that have governed this precious territory. First mistake was to stay as an (Estado libre Associado) for so long. Second mistake was to remove the U.S. military from Roosevelt Roads and Vieques. That part of the Island is dead, no jobs, no tourism and no agriculture, because the politicians let it happen. Times change and we need to move with it. We need someone that can understand what the Island is capable of in terms of the goods that we can produce and the needs of the people. Not someone that will pocket the money and then run away. It is time to become a state and put in place certain checks and balances to control the corruption, and move forward.

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Mayra

If you were not born there or have never lived there, it is a useless vote.

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Mayra

“Living there” as in you participate in the economy FULLY, not as a temporary resident. That’s what I meant.

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Dennis Freytes

Most born in Puerto Rico have a statutory non-permanent US Citizenship no matter where they reside, per Presidential and GAO Reports; US Justice Department, Federal Court standing decisions…Former US Attorney General; Under Secretary General of the United Nations Dick Thornburgh, in his book (Puerto Rico’s Future-a time to decide-2007) states: “Four million U.S. citizens live under the U.S. flag in Puerto Rico, yet they can neither vote for president nor have voting representation in Congress, which enacts the federal laws under which they live. Residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories are deprived of basic rights of self-determination that U.S. citizens generally enjoy and that the United States has committed itself to achieving for peoples around the globe.”
• “Political gridlock in Congress and in Puerto Rico has stymied efforts to put Puerto Rico on a path toward a permanent political status that ensures full self-government for its residents. If Congress does not act soon, U.S. courts may be asked to give more serious consideration to whether the residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories have political and human rights under U.S. and international law that can no longer be ignored by the political branches of government.”
• Besides, Thornburgh states: “The ruling of the Supreme Court in Rogers v. Bellei 401 U.S. 815 (1970), regarding the nature of statutory citizenship is consistent with the conclusion that even a statutory extension of the Fourteenth Amendment to Puerto Rico could not limit the discretion of Congress to amend or repeal that statutory extension.”
• “Thus, the U.S. citizenship created under 8 U.S.C. §1402 does not and cannot offer the permanent or constitutional protection of the Fourteenth Amendment to the people of Puerto Rico. Similarly, the protection of persons born in a State of the Union under Afroyim v. Rusk 307 U.S. 253 (1967) would not prevent Congress from changing laws defining the citizenship of people born in Puerto Rico.”
President W. Bush US Justice Department: “If P.R. were to become independent “… those…who had U.S. Citizenship only by statute would cease to be citizens of the United States, unless a different rule were prescribed by legislation or treaty…” (Page 9)
President Obama’s US Justice Department: “In a case concerning American Samoa, the Justice Department explained that 14th Amendment citizenship does not apply in a territory that has not “been incorporated into the United States as a part thereof” but “is simply held . . . under the sovereignty of the United States as a possession or dependency,” using the words of the U.S. Supreme Court. (It identified Puerto Rico as another unincorporated territory).”

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Pedro

The problem is not becoming a state, the problem is that you’re bringing the same problems with the statehood because you (writer as people in the island) hasn’t learn anything. Six out of seven governors are associated with the democrats, including the current governor. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Diaspora? You’re calling your own country a strange land. You’re (writer/ people in the island) mentality it’s the problem to begin with. You haven’t embrace the USA as your own country. PPD and PIP are bad, but PNP are as worst as they are.

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