Puerto Rico has been a United States territory for many years, meaning that they are fully protected and supported by the U.S. government. However, this does not mean that they have all of the same rights as stateside American residents. Things like the right to vote, and a large amount of benefits, are not given to the people of Puerto Rico, however, they do fight in our military and can own land in our country. So what’s the deal, why not just make them a state? Let’s explore all of the reasons supporting and opposing Puerto Rico having statehood.
Pros of Puerto Rico Becoming a State
Improved Quality Of Life
Nearly half of all people living in Puerto Rico are doing so underneath the poverty line. Integrating them as a full state would bring a wealth of benefits and job opportunities to an area that desperately needs it.
With a population of over 4 million people, Puerto Rico would have an impressive 9 Electoral votes in elections. They would also have seven house representatives and two senators to represent them on current issues. This would cause a large shift in political control.
The Right To Vote
The laws and statutes that are passed in America apply also to the Puerto Rican people, however, they are not given the opportunity to vote on these issues. Making Puerto Rico a state would give all citizens the right to vote on the things that affect them.
Adding Puerto Rico to the roster of states in America would bring in a large amount of extra revenue for the federal reserve each year. This money would be brought in through sales and income taxes.
Puerto Rico would enter into a open trade market with all of the U.S.’s alliances. This would stimulate their economy greatly, and in turn improve ours.
Cons of Puerto Rico Becoming a State
Many people fear that the rich culture that is in Puerto Rico would be eventually loss through the integration to the United States. The Spanish language would likely be replaced by English, along with many other cultural aspects.
Loss of Tourism
Tourism is the largest source of revenue for the country. If they where to become a state then the novelty of the area would wear off. It would no longer be considered an exotic destination and they would lose an extreme amount of money.
Inherited Poverty And Crime Rates
The crime, poverty, and unemployment rates are exceedingly high in Puerto Rico. Integrating them as the newest state to America would cause these statistics to be part of the United States numbers.
There are many different things that need to be considered when forming an opinion on this subject. One of the key things to keep in mind is that the majority of people in Puerto Rico, about 60 percent, do not support statehood at all.