Dr.‭ ‬Miriam Ramírez: Dan Webster Should Support the Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Act

Florida is home to more than 1 million Puerto Rican residents,‭ ‬the second largest of any state.‭

Many have come to the state in search of better economic opportunities that can be provided stateside,‭ ‬in part because the island’s current status as a territory chases away potential investors and businesses from setting up shop.

One way to promote economic growth on the island is to address the status issue,‭ ‬and thankfully,‭ ‬voters on the island have already decided on their preferred status.‭

Three times since‭ ‬2012,‭ ‬Puerto Ricans were asked at the polls about the status of the island,‭ ‬and each time statehood won the most support.‭ ‬Most recently,‭ ‬in‭ ‬2020,‭ ‬Puerto Rican voters were asked a straightforward and simple question:‭ “‬Should Puerto Rico be admitted immediately into the Union as a State‭?” ‬And the majority–52.34 percent–said‭ “‬yes.‭”‬

Statehood is the only status option that has ever gotten more than 50 percent‭ ‬support from voters,‭ ‬and since Congress has the power to decide the island’s fate,‭ ‬it is incumbent upon our congressional representatives to act.‭

U.S. Rep. Dan Webster,‭ R-Fla., ‬in particular,‭ ‬has an outsized role to play given his position on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee,‭ ‬which is the congressional committee with jurisdiction.‭ ‬The committee chair,‭ U.S.  Rep.‬ Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., ‭ ‬has indicated that he intends to hold a vote on Puerto Rico’s status in the fall.‭ ‬Hopefully, Webster will honor the votes of Puerto Ricans,‭ ‬and support the Puerto Rico Statehood Admissions Act.‭ ‬The Puerto Ricans,‭ ‬both on the island and in Florida,‭ ‬deserve this at the very least.‭

Dr.‭ ‬Miriam Ramírez served in the Senate of Puerto Rico.

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  1. No one has the right nor to mandate to support any bill in congress to shove statehood down the throats of island territory residents who repudiate statehood.


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