How can Puerto Rico become a country? – FindLaw

The United States flag flutters in the breeze alongside the Puerto Rican flag

One of the strangest crowd shouts / intimidation tactics this election season is how quickly Democrats move to grant a state to Puerto Rico in 2021.

All speaking Presidents discuss the statehood of Puerto Rico as an either / or issue. But this excludes many things that will likely happen first for the state to occur.

We’ll leave the blatant analysis of Puerto Rico’s statehood and which political party benefits from it (by classifying Puerto Ricans into very broad categories) to critics. Instead, we will explain how the state can actually happen.

State constitutional guidelines

Just like many of the other big issues that get a lot of talk from activists, the constitution doesn’t say much about the state. While it places some restrictions on creating new states within existing states (such as dismantling California) or combining two states, when it comes to adding only new states, Article IV, Section 3 says:

Congress may accept new states to join this union

Reducing it to its simplest form, it simply means that Congress can pass a law that the president signs and recognizes a state. But in general, For the first time, Congress permitted a period of provincial government And passing what is known as an “empowerment law” first, allowing residents of the region to write their own constitution for their country. After Congress has approved the new state constitution, it will then vote to admit the state into the union.

Puerto Ricans will vote again

President Trump, along with former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Mention support for Puerto Rico if that’s what the islanders want.

But the question of popular approval for statehood on the island is a thorny one. While referendums on statehood failed in 1967 and 1998, the 2012 referendum showed that a clear majority wanted to change the island’s current status, but there was no clear majority on statehood versus independence versus independence. Free association with the United States.

The referendum in 2017 passed the statehood with 97%, but suffered from less than 25% of the electorate due to boycott by parties that prefer to maintain the status quo.

Now, in November, Puerto Ricans will be back again Head to the polls to vote on a simple yes-for-nothing question about statehood Without other options for independence or free association.

He put forward a bill in Congress Puerto Rico will be accepted as a country Depending on the November vote result. It currently has 60 sponsors, but no further action has been taken on it. This means that Puerto Ricans can overwhelmingly vote for statehood, but Congress can choose to do nothing about it.

What does the state mean

If the island lands become the 51st state of the United States (or 52nd – don’t forget all the pressures of the capital!), Then Puerto Ricans:

  • It has two senators and about four or five representatives in Congress
  • Be able to vote for president
  • Enjoy better access to programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, disaster relief, and other federally funded programs
  • Pay federal taxes
  • You have local control over local government affairs

This debate is sure to flare up if the Democrats have a strong election day. stay tuned.

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