6 Key Pros and Cons of Puerto Rico Statehood

6 Key Pros and Cons of Puerto Rico Statehood

by / Comments Off / 4657 View / Apr 1, 2015

Puerto Rico statehood is a topic that many people are split on. It is not easy to determine if Puerto Rico statehood is the solution to many problems or only the start of larger issues. Puerto Rico is officially a self-governing territory that is not a part of the United States. It is located within the northeast Caribbean and is a territory that many feel should become a part of the United States. The question of Puerto Rico statehood is a topic that sparks a lot of debate.

Pros of Puerto Rico Statehood

The only way to know if Puerto Rico statehood is the best move is to look at both the pros and cons. This allows you to compare and contrast the biggest advantages and disadvantages to determine what would be most effective. Settling this issue is not going to be easy, but more information will help to diminish many of the unknowns.

1. Puerto Rico is Already Costing the United States
Did you know that even though Puerto Rico is a separate territory it is costing the United States over $22 billion each and every year. This means that even though it is not a state, it is incredibly costly to the United States. However, if Puerto Rico were to gain statehood it could actually begin to contribute money to eth United States instead of just extracting funds. Almost 2 billion dollars could be gained each year if Puerto Rico would become a state.

2. More Opportunities for Puerto Ricans
Right now more than half of all Puerto Ricans are below the poverty level. This is very high percentage and would not be the case if Puerto Rico statehood goes into effect. If Puerto Rico were to become a state then all residents would get access to income and job creation benefits that could make a difference. They would be able to integrate into the national economy and not as many residents would be below the poverty line.

3. Puerto Rico is Not Sovereign
It is important to note that Puerto Rico is already not completely sovereign. This means that Puerto Rico may have the ability to elect their own governor and have their own state government, but the United States congress is still ultimately in control. If the United States congress already has final control, there really is no reason that Puerto Rico should be a separate territory.

4. No Say in Laws and Government that Impacts Them
Even though the United States congress has final say of everything going on in Puerto Rico, it is not possible for Puerto Ricans to vote in US elections. This means that laws and statutes that apply to Puerto Ricans are not things that they can vote on. If Puerto Rico statehood were to take place then Puerto Ricans could finally vote on laws that apply to them.

Cons of Puerto Rico Statehood

1. Loss of Spanish Heritage and Culture that Makes them Unique
Residents of Puerto Rico take a lot of pride in their culture and heritage. This Spanish pride is the main reason that they continually vote against statehood. Puerto Rico seems to want to retain their individuality as a territory and do not think that this is possible if they become a state. Having their own Olympic Games or own Miss Universe pageant would not be possible if statehood takes place.

2. Language Barrier
The aspect of language is also a pretty big barrier to statehood. English is taught in Puerto Rican schools, but it is a foreign language. Less than 20% of Puerto Rican residents can even speak English fluently, which would make integration into US culture very difficult.

How Do Puerto Ricans Feel?

Over and over again, Puerto Ricans continuously vote to remain a separate territory apart from the United States. However, this does not stop those that are calling for statehood. There are many questions involving the rights of citizens and if independence from the United States is best. There is no one way to look at Puerto Rico statehood, but it is possible to delve deeper and take a closer look at the most relevant issues regarding this topic.

Is It Similar to Hawaii and Alaska?

Many people are asking the question if Puerto Rico statehood is similar to the statehood of Hawaii and Alaska. These territories had seamless transitions into statehood, but many feel that Puerto Rico is not the same. This involves the language barrier and other cultural concerns that are always brought up when the topic of Puerto Rico statehood begins.