Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi is in Washington, D.C., this week advocating for the Puerto Rico Status Act. In fact, he has declared it Puerto Rico Status Act Advocacy Week.

“I know our quest will not end until we have equality for the American citizens residing in Puerto Rico,” he said at a press conference.

Senator Martin Heinrich joined him. “This is about equality. This is about American citizens being treated with the same level of rights and dignity, no matter where they live,” he said. “As we talked about the pathway for Puerto Rico, it made me go back and look at my own state’s pathway to statehood. I realized that while the years have changed, the arguments really haven’t changed…and how hard it was for New Mexico to become a state, how it needed allies from people like Senator Quay and even Teddy Roosevelt to become one of the great states of the United States. It inspired me to get personally involved because this is about making sure that all of our citizens, who’ve done so much for this great country, are recognized and have the same rights no matter whether they live — in Puerto Rico or in New Mexico or New York or anywhere else.”

Heinrich went on, “So, what excites me about this gathering today is that we are gathering momentum thanks to all of you. We’re now up to 25 cosponsors in the Senate.That’s a record-breaking number and the interest and enthusiasm is only building. This is a moment that really matters. Build that momentum and argue your case.”

Governor Pierluisi also expressed optimism, saying, “The question is not whether, the question is when Puerto Rico will become a state of the union.”

One Caribbean Television asked the governor whether he gets frustrated by the length of time it is taking for Puerto Rico to gain admittance as a state. “Not at all,” responded Pierluisi. “This is a quest. It is a long standing quest already. When you look at how long it took Hawaii to become a state, Alaska to become a state, for New Mexico, you realize this doesn’t happen overnight.”

Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority leader, confirmed his support of the Puerto Rico Status Act on X (formerly Twitter). He met with Governor Pierluisi after the press conference. This was one of a planned 100 meetings with legislators undertaken by the governor and other Puerto Rican leaders, including William Villafañe.

President Biden issued a positive statement about the Puerto Rico Status Act when it passed the House in 2022. He is expected to sign the law once it makes it through the House and Senate.



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