Puerto Rico is a political oddity. It is part of the United States, but unlike the United States, it has citizenship but does not have full political representation. Puerto Rico has been a US colony for over one hundred and twenty-three years. The statehood bill would allow Puerto Rico to become the fifty-second state and have all the powers that a state has. They will have two seats in the Senate and six seats in the House of Representatives.
House lawmakers are pressing to give Puerto Rico equal economic and voting rights in the U.S. government while there is a conflict going on between Puerto Rican officials and Trump about hurricane relief. For a long period of time in Puerto Rico, people have clashed between pushing for greater independence from the U.S. and supporting the idea of becoming the 51st state. Some lawmakers find danger in letting the island be part of a government it has no part in voting for. Puerto Rico has been facing a government debt crisis for so long and it is time to put an end to the misdeed of Puerto Rico being a colony.
Congress usually requires a territory applying for statehood to have a definite minimum population and must have evidence that most of its citizens favor statehood. Even if the population has a great desire for statehood, the Congress has no obligation to grant it. The process of achieving statehood can take decades. Once a territory has become a state, it has all of the rights established by the United States Constitution.
U.S. Representative Darren Soto propels Puerto Rico Statehood with a new bill that he says is about respecting democracy. When announcing the new legislation, congressman say they believe that Puerto Rico’s colonial status is just not working and they need their own senators and representatives to fight for what they need. 2017 was the last time Puerto Rican’s voted about becoming a state. Although 97% of people wanted statehood, the people who didn’t boycotted the vote so the turnout was only 23%.
I’m not one hundred percent sure if Puerto Rico should become a state because there are several different reasons why Puerto Rico should and shouldn’t become a state. There is a large unemployment rate in Puerto Rico, if they become a state, they can enjoy the benefits that come with being a state and they would have the tools they need to develop a better workforce on the island. They also deserve a say in the laws that they have to follow. Also, they would be required to pay federal income taxes which would boost the Federal Reserve’s annual revenues. But Puerto Ricans don’t really want to be a state because many are concerned about their independence and their rights, they don’t want to suffer the loss of their unique culture. They understand that statehood in Puerto Rico comes with the potential loss of culture. If Puerto Rico becomes a state, they will have to adopt English as their main language, and generations later, their culture may begin to fade and be forced to assimilate into American culture.
So, I’m more inclined to think that Puerto Rico shouldn’t become a state, because if it does, the United States will inherit its debts, and Puerto Rico might seem like too much of a burden to deal with.