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Should Puerto Rico become a US state or independent?
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Puerto Ricans are US citizens

Puerto Ricans have been US citizens for over 100 years, but haven’t been granted the full benefits that come with citizenship. Completing the statehood process would grant those benefits and silence constitutional detractors.

The Argument

Puerto Ricans have been US citizens since the 1917 Jones-Shafroth Act, which gave most Puerto Ricans citizenship.[1] With US citizenship came the Selective Service Act, which led to the enlistment of nearly 200,000 Puerto Ricans in World War I.[2] Puerto Ricans can serve in the US military, yet don't have many rights afforded to formal US states. Puerto Ricans, as American citizens, are subject to federal taxes for Social Security and Medicaid but don't pay federal income tax.[3] On a pure fairness level, it is unfair to have a majority of US citizens pay federal income tax, yet Puerto Ricans remain exempt. On the flip side of that, while Puerto Ricans are classified as US citizens, they are often awarded far fewer rights than people who reside in US states.[4] America is built on systems that try to maintain equality for all of its citizens, and it's time to extend that equality to Puerto Ricans as well. Puerto Ricans, as US citizens, deserve to have their state. They deserve to have their own governance and representation because of their citizenship.

Counter arguments

Awarding Puerto Rico statehood could create a slippery slope for the US. The US has four other inhabited territories other than Puerto Rico: Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.[5] Awarding Puerto Rico statehood could set off a chain reaction and start movements in those territories, creating a surge of pleas for statehood that Congress is not prepared to deal with.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 18:05 UTC

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