The people of Puerto Rico have been citizens since 1917 — nearly a century. And yet many Americans are not aware of this, or of what it means.
Yahoo Answers, a popular spot for people to ask random questions about things they find confusing, shows 2,470 results for the questions, “Are Puerto Ricans U.S. citizens?” And it is not just random Americans who are confused about this question. The media, schools, and law enforcement also get confused.
Look at some examples:
- In 2006, TV host Tucker Carlson said to guest Jesse Diaz, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, “you may be counting Hispanic immigrants from Puerto Rico,”
- In 2009, the New York Times and the Daily Princetonian described Sonia Satomayor’s parents as “immigrants”and Fitchburg State University published Puerto Rican Immigrants: A Resource Guide for Teachers and Students.
- In 2010, a Chicago man from Puerto Rico was detained as an illegal immigrant for three days in spite of having his birth certificate and Social Security card.
- In 2014, radio host Laura Ingraham said that Justice Sotomayor’s “allegiance obviously goes to her, you know, immigrant family background, not to the U.S. Constitution.”
So, just to make things completely clear, Puerto Rico is a U.S. possession and Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. They do not require work permits, green cards, or passports on the U.S. mainland any more than an American from North Dakota needs a green card to live in South Dakota.
This post was originally written in English and may be being auto-translated by Google.