Puerto Rico Statehood: Deal or No Deal?

Carol Helm, the fabulous founder of IRON, is alerting concerned citizens about the status of H.R. 2499, which is also known as The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009:

"Now out of committee and could be brought to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote any day! It is a bill designed to lead to the admission of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico as our 51st state. The bill requires Puerto Ricans to vote on the issue of their political status again after they have rejected statehood in three nation-wide elections since 1991. But this time the plebiscite process is rigged in favor of statehood!

Please send your congressmen an email message and urge them to VOTE NO on H.R. 2499."

Eddie V. Garcia, who serves on the ProEnglish Board of Advisors, had a letter published in the New York Post on this very issue.

Tim Schultz, director of government relations for U.S. English, offers a brief podcast about the complications involved with admitting the 'first official bilingual state' into the Union.

Update: Check out "No to Puerto Rico Statehood" on Facebook.


ayrnieu said...

How is the process rigged for statehood? The New York Post article asserts that the second stage has only two options, but it has three, including

> (2) Sovereignty in Association with the United States: Puerto Rico and the United States should form a political association between sovereign nations that will not be subject to the Territorial Clause of the United States Constitution. If you agree, mark here XX.

TCC said...

It appears, based on previous votes, that the Puerto Rican people are not in favor of becoming a sovereign, independent nation. It benefits them too much to be under our wing. In fact, the last plebescite yielded only 2.5% favoring independence. How do you convince another 47.5% of the people to choose that option?

Anonymous said...

It is rigged for statehood because of the way the referendum is structured.

If the organizers really wanted a fair vote, the people of Puerto Rico would be asked if they would prefer statehood or not. But since the proponents of statehood know that this question will fail by simple majority (as it has in the past), they have built a two-part vote.

The first part asks whether the people of Puerto Rico would prefer to remain under current status or prefer "something else." The idea of "something else" allows groups together those who support statehood, independence, *anything* other than the status quo.

This triggers a second vote on the matter, between statehood, enhanced commonwealth and independence, with the plurality (*not* majority) emerging as the winner.

Anonymous said...

I believe you have identified the wrong H.R. number. According to opencongress.org, the correct H.R. number is 2499.

Link: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h2499/show

Izzy said...

Correction made! Gracias, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Well, talk about being misleading. The NY Post article can withstand the most basic of factchecks, hence its arguments are worth moot. And Puerto Rico has never had a plebiscite solely on statehood.

and the reason for a 2 leveled process is in your opening statements (which you later contradict): Congress should know if the people want a change, and as the very ones opposing this bill know and openly claim, THE MAJORITY OF PUERTO RICANS WANT A CHANGE IN THE STATUS!

Omar Lopez said...

The statehood plebiscites for all present 50 states were based on a Statehood Yes or No answer and required super majority votes for statehood. That process seemed to work just fine before, so let's use it for Puerto Rico as well. Of course, the result will be a BIG FAT NO.