Will Puerto Rico Become the 51st State?

Saturday, June 27, 2009
51-state flag

Update: Puerto Ricans Vote to become U.S. State

The United States has controlled Puerto Rico for 110 years, yet American lawmakers have never bothered to ask Puerto Ricans what they want to do about their future. But a bill currently in Congress would do just that, by conducting a two-part referendum on the island to help determine if it should become the 51st state.

If Congress gives the okay, the first plebiscite would ask Puerto Ricans (those living on the island or those born there but now living in the U.S.) whether they would like to change their political status. If a majority says yes, then a second plebiscite would be held offering three options: independence, independence with a special association with the United States (commonwealth) or statehood.
The U.S. took control of Puerto Rico after the Spanish-American War in 1898, and granted Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship in 1917. Although the island does have a representative in Congress, that official has no voting power, and Puerto Ricans are not allowed to vote in American presidential elections and they pay no federal income taxes.
Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s congressional representative, argues that a congressionally ordered referendum would have more weight than past plebiscites and force Washington to take action on the island’s status. Previous local elections that asked Puerto Ricans what they want to do about their island’s status have resulted in deadlocks between those who favor statehood and those wanting commonwealth status. Only a small percentage has expressed interest in complete independence.
The 2008 Republican Party platform supported statehood for Puerto Rico, if its citizens voted for the option. The Democratic Party platform was more vague, but acknowledged the right of Puerto Rican self-determination. If Puerto Rico does become the 51st state, it would rank 27th in population between Kentucky and Oregon.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
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Jose M Lopez Sierra 1 month ago
Dear Partner, Since the United Nations determined in 1960 that colonialism is a crime against humanity, there is no longer a need for plebiscites. The solution is to give Puerto Rico her sovereignty. But being the United States government does not want to, it continues to advocate the use of plebiscites to find out what Puerto Ricans want. Even if 100% of Puerto Ricans would want to continue being a US colony, Puerto Rico would still be obligated to accept her sovereignty to then decide what she wants to do. The only thing these plebiscites are good for is to divide Puerto Ricans. A Puerto Rican didn’t invade us to make us a colony. When will we understand that we need to unite? This is why we must peacefully protest at least 3 times a year until Puerto Rico is decolonized! José M López Sierra www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com
Jose M Lopez Sierra 1 year ago
Saludos, Tenemos que trabajar juntos para descolonizar a Puerto Rico y excarcelar a Oscar Lopez Rivera. Habra una protesta pacifica en las afueras de la ONU este 17 de junio 2013. Te esperamos! Un abrazo, Jose www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com
Uomo Del Ghiaccio 1 year ago
We the People allows anyone to create and sign petitions asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range of issues. If a petition gets enough support, the Obama Administration will issue an official response. You can view and sign the petition here: http://wh.gov/fdHF Here's some more information about this petition: Puerto Rico Statehood Act on the 2012 Statehood vote in Puerto Rico and begin the process to admit Puerto Rico to the Union as a State.
new pr beed 1 year ago
Freedom is not free, Puerto Ricans have been fighting wars for USA many yrs now, why should they not become a State. Puerto Ricans have come a long way but, we still have lots of work to do. My Parents were born in Puerto Rico and they have given me the american dream. Puerto Rico is a beutiful island with lots places and things to do. Stand up PR its time for change. I lov my people, and I am puerto rican. Freedom is not free
Jose Lopez 2 years ago
Dear Partner, Greetings! Those who accept colonialism believe in discrimination. Now that we know that the political parties will not solve this problem, I invite you to join the non-violent protest to demand that the United States (US) decolonize Puerto Rico (PR) immediately. It will be on Monday, June 17, 2013 from 8 AM to 5 PM outside the United Nations (UN) visitor’s entrance located on 46th Street and First Avenue in New York City. The UN has determined that colonialism is a crime against humanity in 1960 under Resolution 1514 (XV). That’s why the UN celebrates every year a hearing about Puerto Rico decolonization. Every year the UN puts forth a resolution asking the US to decolonize PR. Despite 30 of these resolutions, PR is still the oldest and most populated colony in the world! It is obvious by now that the US is not going to decolonize PR just because the UN asks. Through education, we must create a domestic and international solidarity with this cause to pressure the US to do what historically she has refused to do. This is why we need everyone who also believes that colonialism is a crime against humanity to join the protest to demand compliance to international law! Puerto Rico has been a colony of the US for 114 years. The US’ intention is to keep PR a colony forever unless we do something about it. It is important to note that: democracy isn’t what a government does. Democracy is what people do! President John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere.” These ideas, of course, are the reasons why the United Nations was created after World War II. It is up to us to defend the fundamental human rights that promote world peace. The tragedy of doing nothing is that we will have the kind of government that we deserve! Sincerely, José M. López Sierra For more information: www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com Compañeros Unidos para la Descolonización de Puerto Rico
MikiPR 2 years ago
@scott my dude puero rico does pay taxes but not federal taxes..the reason they dont pay federal taxes is because they dont get the sam government aid as we do//that being said puerto rico becoming a state would greatly benefit the people of puerto rico...dalee love pr and the people of pr deserve the same priveleges we have..
Felipe 2 years ago
fuck you scott :p. i'm puertorican & i say it should become a state so clueless would stop saying that we are illegal immigrants cuz that gets annoying -.-
Ron 2 years ago
i think puerto rico should be a state like, they have every right like we do right??? and they are just like us they can do all the stuff we can do right?? and plus jhenry, thats why in schools they teach spanish. dah... and alot of puerto ricans can speak english most of my family is from puerto rico.
Scott 3 years ago
why would puerto ricans want to become a state. they have all the rights and privlages that all other americans have except voting for the president and they have no votes in congress which the majority of americans care little about anyway. if they stay a commonwealth they continue to get all the perks and still pay no taxes hello what a deal where do i sign up to become puerto rican!! the rest of america should have a plebisite that ask do we make them a state so they can help pay for their perks or do we give them their independance so they can pay for it all theirselves. i would vote give them statehood because they have earned the right, but if i were in their shoes given the choice between voting for politicians that do what they want with little thought for who elected them or not paying taxes, i would vote not to pay taxes.
sal 4 years ago
There are two options for Puerto Rico; (Statehood or independece) AMERICAN REMEMBER Puerto Rican soldiers have been fighting in the us armed forces since at least WORLD WAR 1(PUERTO RICAN soldiers fought and risked their lives for the freedom of this country.all political parties involved do not forget that not only the american people defended this country.

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