All or Nothing
While citizens of the U.S were voting for who was to be our next president, Puerto Rico was voting whether or not to have statehood in order to be able to vote in presidential elections. Puerto Rico supposedly has full voting rights, but is not allowed to contribute to who becomes the president of the Unites States.
According to columnist Mark Plotkin, “There are 3.9 million people in Puerto Rico. The legal residents are all U.S. citizens. They carry U.S. passports, and many fight and die in wars wearing uniforms of the U.S. armed forces. But they don’t have a vote in Congress, and they can’t vote for president.” Almost 4 million U.S citizens don’t have the right to vote in Congress or for the president. Could this change future elections? Could this have changed past elections?
In Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, “Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity…To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors.” Why would Puerto Rico want statehood if they are already considered citizens? Shouldn’t Puerto Rico already be able to vote since they are citizens?
Some people may think that bringing in Puerto Rico as the 51st state will increase debt and it will be harder to take on the responsibility of another state. However, if Puerto Rico becomes the 51st state of the United States, then Puerto Ricans will be required to pay federal taxes so that will provide our government with more money.
It is time to stop giving Puerto Rico a pass from paying federal taxes. If Puerto Ricans are U.S citizens then they shouldn’t be exempt from paying federal taxes like the rest of the U.S citizens, and should have input on our leaders and laws. Puerto Rico should either have full rights like any other U.S citizens or not be part of the U.S at all.