A man harassed a woman wearing a Puerto Rico shirt because she 'should not be wearing that in the United States of America'
Posted by NowThis Politics on Monday, July 9, 2018
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Puerto Ricans are US citizens. But that doesn’t mean they have the same rights as other Americans.
By Christina Thornell Jan 26, 2018, 1:30pm EST
Nearly half of Americans don’t know that Puerto Ricans are US citizens. They are — and have been since 1917.
As residents of a US commonwealth, Puerto Ricans have US passports, can travel freely throughout the country, and can serve in the military. But that doesn’t mean they get the same rights and benefits as US citizens stateside.
Most notably, Puerto Ricans, despite paying most federal taxes, don’t have federal representation in Congress. This means they can’t vote on issues that affect the island’s development, such as Medicaid, food stamps, or even their political future.
Watch the video above to understand how Puerto Rico became one of five inhabited US territories, the tangled relationship that developed between the island and the mainland, and how it all affects Puerto Rico’s prosperity and development today.
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“In the time to take action, they have reneged.”
Addy Baird Dec 21, 2017, 6:43 pm
Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló vowed to target Republicans at the ballot box next year after Congress failed to appropriate necessary disaster relief funding for the island and left provisions in the recently passed tax bill that could devastate Puerto Rico’s economy.
“We are going to do an evaluation of all of the congressmen and congresswomen that pledged support to Puerto Rico, and in the time to take action, they have reneged on that word,” Rosselló said on MSNBC Thursday. “We are second-class citizens. We don’t have representation, but we do have 5.3 million Puerto Ricans in the United States and we want to organize them to make sure that our voice is heard.” Three months after Hurricane Maria hit the territory, Puerto Rico is still experiencing a “super blackout,” the longest and largest power outage in modern American history. Many people are still living in darkness, and the island is not expected to have full power until February, up to five months after the storm. Deaths from the storm have also been significantly under-reported by the government, and although the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says the island has potable water, experts say that can’t possibly be true.
To make matters worse, Democrats and other advocates argue that the funding Congress has appropriated to help Puerto Ricans in need is only a fraction of what’s necessary, and certain provisions in the recently passed Republican tax bill could devastate the island’s economy.
On Thursday, the House passed a funding bill to deliver $81 billion to Puerto Rico and other communities recently affected by disasters in Texas, California, and Florida, but the package has been met with resistance in the Senate and is unlikely to pass. Even if it does, Puerto Rico alone is estimated to need $21 billion over the next two years.
And despite being part of the United States, the newly passed bill treats Puerto Rico like a foreign country, and part of the bill that aim to incentivize bringing business back to the United States could mean that business may abandon Puerto Rico for the mainland.
So although Rosselló would not name names on MSNBC Thursday, he is vowing to fight those decisions on election day. But, perhaps more importantly, he said Puerto Rico should “of course” have representation in Congress.
“If there was one time in our history where we can see what it means to be a colonial territory versus what it means to be a state, right now it’s that time,” he said. “We don’t have political power in Congress. We don’t have equal treatment in federal programs, and until we show that we can muster some muscle in some other jurisdictions or until the United States calls upon what I think is a moral imperative to finalize colonialism in the 21st century, transition out of that, and make Puerto Rico a state, which has been favored by Puerto Ricans twice in the last five years, then we will be with this lingering dilemma.”
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