If you live in a state, we want you to talk to your congressperson. Sometimes people ask us why. After all, Puerto Rico’s statehood is up to Puerto Rico, right?
At this point, Puerto Rico has voted for statehood, and the government of Puerto Rico has requested statehood. It’s now up to Congress to grant statehood to Puerto Rico.
32 territories have become states.
Congress has made 32 territories into states in the history of the United States. Congress can admit Puerto Rico as a state, too.
Congress has a lot going on. Statehood for Puerto Rico is not at the top of their list. It will only become important to Congress if they believe that it’s important to their constituents.
The unfortunate fact is, many Americans don’t know some basic things about Puerto Rico:
- Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States.
- The people of Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens.
- Residents of Puerto Rico can’t vote for senators, voting members of Congress, or even for president.
- Puerto Rico doesn’t have equality with states in federal programs.
We believe that the American people will care about the inequality of Puerto Rico as they learn about these facts. That includes Congress. Members of Congress will only stand up for Puerto Rico if and when they understand the issues. And they will only make the effort to learn about Puerto Rico’s situation if they believe that it matters to their constituents.
You have the power.
There are people of Puerto Rican heritage living in every state in the Union. There are also people in every state who are not Puerto Rican, but who care about equal rights for all U.S. citizens. Many more Americans object to the United States’ being a colonial power. We are a nation that supports democracy around the world. It is embarrassing for us to own a territory where more than three million U.S. citizens live without full participation in American democracy.
If we all speak up to our congresspeople, Congress will understand that this issue matters. Tell your legislators that you care about Puerto Rico.
Congress has to take action for Puerto Rico. You can make it happen.