During the last election, Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States you may have heard of, voted to become a state.
Well, sort of. Puerto Ricans don’t want to stay a territory; that much is known. What should happen next is to have an election specifically to determine if Puerto Rico shall become a state. If they say no, fine. If they say yes, then welcome to the Union.
I can’t really think of a valid reason to keep them out. Puerto Ricans are already considered American citizens and they can travel freely in the U.S., just as I or any American has the right to travel to Puerto Rico whenever we want.
Puerto Rico’s laws and government are based on those of the U.S. It’s a beautiful place to visit and the culture is intoxicating. Many major stars in America, like Benicio del Toro, Joaquin Phoenix and Jennifer Lopez are either native Puerto Ricans or their descendants.
If there’s any resistance from the stateside, it is probably political in nature. The stereotypical Hispanic, Latino, (cough, Mexican, cough) voting for Democrats would be worrying to conservatives.
Puerto Ricans can already move to America whenever they want. They don’t need to be on a waiting list or sneak in. The Cuban exiles in Florida don’t generally vote the same way as Mexican immigrants, so why should Puerto Ricans? Is it too strange for some people that Puerto Rico is a tropical island in the ocean? Have they heard of Hawaii?
Puerto Ricans would also have to start paying federal taxes, which would help out a tiny bit with our bloated deficit. If you are worried that Puerto Rican statehood would dilute the cultural purity of the U.S. or encourage bilingualism, then you should take a look in the mirror.
Unless you are a pure-blooded English person whose family has been inbreeding since 1776, you are probably just as ethnically diverse as anyone else.
The U.S. is the most diverse country in the world right now. When the U.S. took Puerto Rico from Spain in the incredibly boringly named Spanish-American War, the U.S. was still probably the most diverse nation on Earth. Adding another star to our flag will change nothing.
Speaking of the Spanish-American War, it was a war in which the U.S. kicked Spain’s ass to prove how lame Spain was in 1898, and then took all their overseas possessions. Puerto Rico didn’t ask to become a territory of the U.S. They don’t have to stay a territory.
Personally, I’m always flattered when immigrants say they love America and want to become Americans. I know the U.S. has its problems but it’s still a great country, and if wanting to be a part of America isn’t patriotism then I don’t know what is.
So because Puerto Rico is already basically a state that is entitled to the decision of reaching statehood, there is no good reason to be opposed.