Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States. What does that mean?
Under the U.S. Constitution, there are two possible relationships a piece of land belonging to the U.S. can have with the U.S.:
- It can be a state.
- It can be a territory.
Usually, a territory is a piece of land waiting to become a state, but without decisive action a territory can remain a territory indefinitely. That’s what has happened to Puerto Rico. The people of Puerto Rico have been citizens of the United States since 1917, but they still can’t vote in presidential elections, they have just one non-voting representative in Congress, and they are not treated equally when it comes to the benefits of citizenship as long as they live in Puerto Rico.
The people of Puerto Rico are second-class citizens.
In 2012, the voters of Puerto Rico said that they did not want to be a territory any more. 54% voted against continuing as a territory. Statehood got 61% of the votes for the new status. However, this was a non-binding referendum and Congress took no action.
In 2017, 97% of voters chose statehood.
It’s time to take action.
This post was originally written in English and may be being auto-translated by Google.