Thursday, June 27, 2013

Congressman Pedro R. Pierluisi Remarks at 2013 LULAC National Convention - June 21, 2013

Congressman Pedro R. Pierluisi Remarks at 2013 LULAC National Convention - June 21, 2013

Last November, Puerto Rico exercised its right to self-determination by holding a free and fair
vote on the question of our political status. The results demonstrate that a clear majority of my
constituents do not wish to maintain the current status, which deprives us of the most
fundamental democratic rights. To the extent that the people of Puerto Rico ever gave their
consent to the current status, that consent has now been withdrawn. The results further
demonstrate that, for the first time in Puerto Rico’s history, there are more people who want
Puerto Rico to become a state than who want to continue the status quo.4
It is now essential for the U.S. government to respond by enacting legislation to offer Puerto
Rico one or more of the status options that would provide its people with a full measure of self government.
In April, President Obama sought an appropriation from Congress to conduct the first federally
sponsored vote in Puerto Rico’s history to “resolve” the territory’s status.
And, last month, I introduced the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act, which outlines the rights
and responsibilities of statehood, and then asks the people of Puerto Rico if they accept those
terms. If a majority of voters say yes, the bill provides for the President to submit legislation to
admit Puerto Rico as a State after a transition period.
My bill has already been cosponsored by over 80 Members of Congress from both political
parties, representing districts all over this great land.
Just as I have faith that the U.S. government will act to reform our unprincipled immigration
laws, I have faith that it will fulfill its legal and moral obligation to facilitate Puerto Rico’s
transition to a democratic and dignified status.

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