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The Curious Case of Puerto Rico

As an American citizen born on the mainland, one of my rights is the right to vote. I have had this taught to me as a small child in every grade at school. Teachers, books, media and my own parents hammered this into me. My mother would always ask us if we voted, and she stressed how important it was to be current on events and to make sure we were involved.

 Being Puerto Rican and American, it’s important to me that I not be discriminated by my race, gender, and religion. The constitution is supposed to guarantee this.

Here is the Fourteenth Amendment, section 1:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Then there is the curious case of Puerto Rico. A common wealth that appears to be a colony. The oldest colony in the world. Yet, Puerto Ricans are American citizens who can travel freely to and fro without a passport. Puerto Ricans living on the island pay taxes. Everyone earning a pay check does. There are post offices. Puerto Rico has government workers, military, and federal buildings and they pay taxes. Puerto Ricans serve in the military and can be drafted. So how come the United States gets to own Puerto Rico and it’s resources, but it does not allow Puerto Rican citizens, who are United State citizens, equal representation?

 

Puerto Ricans are only allowed to vote for their governor, but that only began to happen in 1948. Before then, the president picked the governor. 

 

The governor of Puerto Rico is the mouthpiece for Puerto Rico and is the representative for Puerto Rico. We saw how effective the last governor, Ricardo Antonio Rosselló Nevares, was.

How can Puerto Ricans be United State citizens without equal representation of the law. The fourteenth amendment ends with:

 

...nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Something needs to change. The United States cannot claim jurisdiction over Puerto Rico without giving Puerto Ricans equal protection of the laws. You're either a citizen or not. The fourteenth amendment guarantees this and it

doesn’t allow for fractional citizenship. Last time that was allowed was in 1787 and it was called the 3/5 compromise, basically slavery. I thought slavery was abolished? For more info click on the link:

 

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