Puerto Rican Governor Pedro Pierluisi said Sunday that the US is “morally obligated” to take action following the territory’s recent referendum in favor of achieving US statehood. Although Puerto Ricans have voted repeatedly on the issue of statehood in recent years, the November vote finally garnered majority approval with high enough voter turnout. Congress has the power to admit new states to the US pursuant to Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution, also known as the Admissions Clause.
Supporters of the movement to grant Puerto Rico statehood believe that citizens of the territory would greatly benefit from congressional representation and the right to vote in federal elections. Additionally, Puerto Ricans would be eligible for more federal programs such as Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Opponents of Puerto Rican statehood fear that the admission of additional senators to chambers would tip the scales in favor of the Democratic party. The territory’s statehood advocates, however, “push back on [this idea] … and also point out that Puerto Rican statehood is a part of the Republican National Committee platform.”
The US added 37 states to the Union by virtue of the Admissions clause of the Constitution. No state has been added to the Union since Hawaii in 1959.
Pierluisi asserts that the US should take the Puerto Rican vote seriously. He stated that?“The US could be expanding by admitting Puerto Rico into the union. It would be telling the world that it is embracing diversity because this would be a truly, completely Hispanic state.”
The governor expects a Congressional vote on the matter to occur by the end of March.
This article was translated from English into Spanish by JURIST Editor Daniela Comesanas Carmona. To view the translated article in Spanish click here.
Este artículo fue traducido de Inglés a Espa?ol por la editora de JURIST Daniela Comesanas Carmona. Para ver el artículo traducido en Espa?ol, da click aquí.