2d Class US Citizenship is Discrimination-FACTS! – THE TIME FOR EQUALITY –IS NOW!
10 MAR 2017
THE TIME FOR EQUALITY –IS NOW!
2d Class US Citizenship is Discrimination-FACTS!
Puerto Ricans are about 9 million strong (2d largest Hispanic Group in the USA); 3.5 million live in the US Territory of Puerto Rico; about 5.5 million reside in the States (1.2 million in Florida-the largest Hispanic Ethnic Group); celebrate and cherish their US Citizenship; pledge allegiance to our noble USA Flag! These US Citizens and Ancestors made valuable contributions to the forming of our now USA, since 1513 (when the 1st Governor of Puerto Rico came to Florida)-107 years before the Pilgrims.
Remember, the US Citizen (with protected Individual Civil Rights) is epicenter; the building block of our US Republic’s “We the People” Representative Democracy-with “consent of the governed” for ALL; not some. We must not fool People as to the un-equal statutory US Citizenship given to Puerto Ricans…
But, there is a lot of confusion as to the complex Status of Puerto Rico (PR) and the type of US Citizenship that most born in Puerto Rico have. The truth is, that there is institutional discrimination against Puerto Ricans–who are loyal 2d Class US Citizens with a non-permanent US Citizenship, if born in Puerto Rico (no matter where you reside)!
I will try to navigate the incongruent un-equal Citizenship and un-democratic Territorial Status quagmire; present Macro facts, history, evidence, to substantiate the truth in the quest for one Equal US Citizenship.
The naked truth is– Today we have two hidden Classes of US Citizens, under our American Flag:
- 1st Class US Citizens (residing in the States) with full rights, responsibilities, benefits, and permeant Constitutional US Citizenship-have all Constitutional rights; equal treatment under the Law….; federal “consent of the governed”.
- 2d Class US Citizens (including American Veterans) (residing in the US Territory of PR)—which can’t vote for their President-Head of State; nor don’t have just representation in the US Congress that determines their destiny; nor full EARNED benefits or parity in Federal Laws/Programs… Plus, most born in Puerto Rico have a non-permanent Statutory (by Law) US Citizenship, no matter where they reside (even in Florida, like me)! These 2d Class US Citizens–don’t have federal “consent of the govern”…; clearly suffer Federal Government Voter suppression; Institutional discrimination; don’t have all rights offered by the US Constitution; while living under our US Flag!
Thus, many responsible informed people, including US Supreme Court Justices, Federal Circuit Judge Torruellas, US Attorney General and under Sec. of the UN Thornburgh, Gov. Jeb Bush (on tape), Many Puerto Rico’s Governors, Resident Commissioners, PR President of the Senate, PR Speaker of the House, and many others say– Puerto Ricans have a discriminating 2d Class statutory US Citizenship!
The naked ugly truth is: The Congress has the power to differentiate (discriminate) in applying the US Constitution to US “un-incorporated” Territories (like Puerto Rico); can revoke or amend any laws it makes (under the Territorial Clause). Thus, based on facts, most born in Puerto Rico have a statutory (by law) US Citizenship not fully protected by the US Constitution’s Due Process Clause or 14th Amendment–that states: you are a US Citizen if born in a State or Naturalized… But, the 14th Amendment doesn’t cover being born to a statutory US Citizen in an “un-incorporated” US Territory…
The Facts (not speculation, generalization, or political distortion) are:
- The Federal Relationship with the US Territory of Puerto Rico is mainly based on the original US Constitution (1789) Article 4- (undemocratic Territorial Clause), which states: “The US Congress has the power to dispose of and make all rules and regulations pertaining to the US Territory or Property that belongs to the United States”; the US Supreme Court Insular Cases (especially Bidwell and Balzac) which have not been overturned; other jurisprudence…
- The US Supreme Court in the Insular Cases (1901-1925+) interpreted and established (based on racism and discrimination of the times) that:
- Bidwell (1901); Balzac (1922) decisions: Puerto Rico is an “unincorporated US Territory, more foreign than domestic, belongs to, but is not part of the United States.”
- The US Congress has the power to discriminate (differentiate) in applying the US Constitution to US “un-incorporated” Territories (like Puerto Rico). Even though a later decision added that they had basic un-listed rights…(But, not all Civil Individual Rights…)
- The term “un-incorporated…” is not found in the US Constitution, and was not applied to any US Territory before Puerto Rico. Thus, “un-incorporated” is a basis for our US Congress to treat Puerto Rico differently, because PR is considered “foreign; not part of the US”.
- The 1917 Jones Act-imposed a statutory (by Law) US Citizenship that was a great step forward in recognizing the value of loyal Puerto Ricans to the United States…; which we applaud and celebrate! But, it fell short of an Equal US Citizenship that recognizes that the US Citizen with fully protected Individual Civil Rights is the building block and epicenter of our US Republic’s “We the People” US Constitution and its representative democracy-with “consent of the governed” (per our Declaration of Independence); equal treatment under just and fair laws…; prevent the Tyranny of a Majority…!
- US Citizenship: 8 U.S.C. Code (1941)- US at birth (jus soli) Citizenship-for statutory US Citizens is a law that can be amended or revoked by US Congress. Please, see Enclosure 2-FACTS for details.
- The 1950 Federal Relations Act was another good milestone where the US Congress permitted Puerto Rico to have a Territorial Constitution and be treated almost as a State. But, this didn’t affect Congress Powers, under the US Territorial Clause and the Insular Cases. Besides, Congress can’t relinquish any powers provided by the US Constitution. Thus, it has the power to revoke any prior Law—including the 1917 Jones Act-that provides for a statutory US Citizenship.
- In Rogers v. Balleri, 401 U.S. 815 (1971), “the Court ruled that (its earlier decision in case of) Afroyim was applicable because the claimant was not a ‘Fourteenth Amendment US Citizen’… because Balleri had been born outside the United States… The case law establishes that Puerto Rico, whatever its exact status and relationship to the United States, is not itself in the United States…In that perspective, then, the limitation of the first sentence of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment would not restrain Congress’ discretion in legislating about the citizenship status of Puerto Rico…”
- President W. Bush US Justice Department-Presidential Task Force Reports on Puerto Rico’s Status (2004 and 2007) states: “If P.R. were to become independent “… those…who had U.S. Citizenship only by statute, would cease to be citizens of the United States, unless a different rule were prescribed by legislation or treaty…” (Page 9)
- President Obama’s US Justice Department: In a case concerning American Samoa (2016); using the words of the U.S. Supreme Court–explained that 14th Amendment citizenship does not apply in a territory that has not “been “incorporated” into the United States as a part thereof”, but, “is simply held . . . under the sovereignty of the United States as a possession or dependency. (Like PR…)
The ENCLOSURE contains more MACRO substantiated facts and some details. Please, be informed; read before jumping to speculation or conclusions. Also, please, remember that any law can be revoked by a future Congress (which can’t relinquish any power provided by the US Constitution).
Besides, the US Territory of Puerto Rico’s great contributions (including in the Arts, Business, Economic, Engineering, Education, Social, Sports, NASA, Music, & Defense) to our noble United States-are written in the best annals of US Human History. These millions of loyal US Citizens (including American Veterans—“Warriors of Good”) from the US Territory of Puerto Rico– have greatly sacrificed; shed sweat, blood and tears; made valuable great contributions to the development, welfare, security, and prosperity of the United States. This, includes Hispanic-Puerto Rican Ancestors (1st Governor of Puerto Rico) that found and named Florida (1513); brought Christianity, Horses, Cows, Pigs, Oranges…to the now US—107 years before the Pilgrims! Plus, Puerto Ricans bravely fought and bled- with General George Washington in the US War of Independence; Civil War…Puerto Ricans have paid the price!
Since, 1898 (when Puerto Rico became a US Territory), have loyally (with a 2d Class US Citizenship) fought bravely in all US Wars (WW-I; WWII; Korea; Vietnam…until the present Global War on Islamic Terrorists)…This includes the loyal and valiant US 65th Infantry Regiment (The Borinqueneers)-Winners of the Congressional Gold Medal—the highest honor that the US Congress can bestow.
Puerto Ricans—cherish our US Citizenship; are integrated; ingrained in the rich diverse fabric of our United States—a noble Land of Immigrants, Tolerance, and Freedom. We loyally pledge service, lives and allegiance to our noble US Constitution–while keeping, like other States (the Lone Star Republic of Texas…), its own Boricua Identity and State Sovereignty, but, UNITED under our grand USA Flag!
There are very well meaning People that are not fully informed or might have not connected the points made—see more facts below; make speculations…, not go by the Law of the Land; that distorts the truth, and helps those that discriminate perpetuate the about 120 years Territorial Colonial Status of Puerto Rico! Again, based on years of research, jurisprudence, and facts presented above and below—Most born in Puerto Rico have a statutory (by law) non-permanent US Citizenship.
I and many Patriots say the Insular Cases–are biased, discriminatory, and wrong! But, until today-it is the Law of the Land! Besides, we must not get stuck or not drawn out by lawyer gibberish, political distortion, or speculation), but, fight for true Justice!
I say, the best solution is for ALL is to stand up for Equality; demand our Federal Government support the democratic desires of the US Citizens in Puerto Rico for STATEHOOD or INDEPENDENCE (without or with PACT of Free Association).
It is our patriotic duty to illuminate, with truth, the dark contentions of the incongruent Federal Relationship with the US Territory of Puerto Rico which is principally based on the US Territorial Clause, and the Insular Cases–that is rooted in racism and discrimination when it coined the term “un-incorporated” in order to discriminate in applying the US Constitution to “un-incorporated” US Territories-including millions of statutory US Citizens, to this day!
In other words, we must take the “Lipstick” off the “un-incorporated-Territorial Pig”, as we fight for a just cause—Equality for ALL Americans; not just some! We start with the TRUTH; not a cover up! Dr. ML King said-THE TME IS NOW! With Truth, Reason, Courage, and ACTION—We will overcome!
BY: Dennis O. Freytes (MPA,MHR, BBA)- American Veteran; Community Servant Leader
*Florida Veterans Hall of Fame (by FL Governor); former Trustee Valencia College; Professor (PMS) and Commandant ROTC-Officer School UPR; OC Superintendent Search Committee; US West Point Academy Congressional Selection Committee; 100 National Leaders NY Hunters College- Puerto Rican Center; Orlando Chamber of Commerce-30 most Influential; Gov. Jeb Bush Policy Transition Team; President W. Bush Transition Advisory Committee; Civic Advisor US Senators (Nelson and Rubio), Congressmen (including Mica and Darren Soto), and CF Mayors…; confirmed by the Florida Senate twice; fighter for a just cause; serving Seniors, Children, Youth, Families, and ALL!
Equality for Puerto Rico: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EWzqvRZJOY
PR Treated Unfairly– John Oliver Comic Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CesHr99ezWE
Chief Judge Torruella (Harvard Presentation): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aixtvS4Jack#t=20
Univ. Connecticut: http://theconversation.com/are-puerto-ricans-really-american-citizens-73723
BY: Dennis O. Freytes (MPA,MHR, BBA)- American Veteran; Community Servant Leader
*Florida Veterans Hall of Fame (by FL Governor); former Trustee Valencia College; Professor (PMS) and Commandant ROTC-Officer School UPR; OC Superintendent Search Committee; US West Point Academy Congressional Selection Committee; 100 National Leaders NY Hunters College- Puerto Rican Center; Orlando Chamber of Commerce-30 most Influential; Gov. Jeb Bush Policy Transition Team; President W. Bush Transition Advisory Committee; Civic Advisor US Senators, Congressmen, and CF Mayors…; confirmed by the Florida Senate twice; fighter for a just cause; serving Seniors, Children, Youth, Families, and ALL!
ENCLOSURE 1: FACTS
- US Citizenship: 8 U.S.C. Code: “All persons born in Puerto Rico on or after April 11, 1899, and prior to January 13, 1941, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, residing on January 13, 1941, in Puerto Rico or other territory over which the United States exercises rights of sovereignty and not citizens of the United States under any other Act, are declared to be citizens of the United States as of January 13, 1941. All persons born in Puerto Rico on or after January 13, 1941, and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, are Citizens of the US at birth (jus soli-right of soil).”
- But, nowhere does the 8 U.S.C. states permanent or naturalized US Citizenship…!
- Most policymakers and academics suggest that Congress merely extended a statutory or legislative form of birthright citizenship to Puerto Rico–because Congress has never explicitly recognized the extension of the 14th Amendment to Puerto Rico. Alternatively, others argue that in order to extend jus soli citizenship to the island the Federal government had to treat Puerto Rico as an “incorporated territory” of the United States. (Even if the Congress has taken steps, that should incorporate Puerto Rico, it treats PR as “un-incorporated. Again, this is speculation not facts because there is no US Supreme Court Decision incorporating The US Territory of Puerto Rico…)
- There is no jurisprudence that the Insular Cases (Bidwll and Balzac) have been revoked…; Puerto Rico is not lawfully incorporated (even though you can make an argument for incorporation). But, Congress is not above nor it can’t relinquish a power given to it by the US Constitution or US Supreme Court!
- “In Rogers v. Balleri, 401 U.S. 815 (1971),… the Court.. ruled that (its earlier decision in case of) Afroyim was applicable because the claimant was not a ‘Fourteenth Amendment citizen’…because Balleri had been born outside the United States… the case law establishes that Puerto Rico, whatever its exact status and relationship to the United States, is not itself in the United States…In that perspective, then, the limitation of the first sentence of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment would not restrain Congress’ discretion in legislating about the citizenship status of Puerto Rico.”
- When the Constitution of Puerto Rico, authorized by the 1950 Federal Relations Act, was being approved in 1952, Congress again revised the statutory U.S. citizenship provision for Puerto Ricans in Section 302 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The revision of U.S. citizenship for Puerto Ricans was codified at 8 U.S.C S 1402, and Congress has chosen not to amend that provision further since 1952.” (But, under the Territorial clause, it can amend or revoke a statutory US Citizenship not fully protected by the 14th Amendment.)
- Chief Judge Torruella (US 1st Circuit Court of Appeals) in his Book-has critiqued the judicial system and compares the “Insular Cases” (1901-1922), that defined the status of Puerto Rico to Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal doctrine to justify racial segregation) that was overturned with Brown v Board of Education (1954)– to Puerto Rico’s case of un-democratic inequality (2d Class US Citizenship).
Chief Judge Torruella states, “The Supreme Court continues to cling to this anachronistic remnant of the stone age of American constitutional law notwithstanding that the doctrines espoused by the “Insular Cases” seriously curtail the rights of several million citizens… of the US.” Reflecting on over 118+ years of US un-democratic control of Puerto Rico, Torruella further says: “the disparity of rights that result from this relationship has in my opinion for too long been relegated to the back burners of American constitutional thought and dialogue…” and “whatever the future holds for this island, its people should strive for the equality which has too long eluded them”. Plus, in a Harvard University discussion (Feb. 2014), Judge Torruella continue to express this. (Enclosed Remarks)
- Current US District Judge GELPÍ, in 2008, stated in a decision: “…The unequal and discriminatory fiscal treatment given to Puerto Rico…is conspicuous and egregious. More so, it is not an isolated incident of the federal government disparately treating Puerto Rico and the nearly four million United States citizens living in or moving to this territory.” (Enclosed Remarks)
- The Judge continues-Under the Insular Cases doctrine (Balzac vs Porto Rico-1922), the court determined that Puerto Rico was an unincorporated territory (more foreign than domestic); only fundamental constitutional rights (which aren’t enumerated) extended to unincorporated United States territories apply, others can be denied by Congress…In an unincorporated United States territory Congress can also differentiate (discriminate) against the territory and its citizens so long as there exists a rational basis for such disparate treatment. Califano v. Torres, (1984); Harris v. Rosario (1980).
- However, the Honorable Judge believes that Puerto Rico has been Incorporated (word not found in the US Constitution) because– Puerto Rico has an organized Government; US Congress has allowed US Citizenship and taken other measures that are found in an Incorporated Territory. But, the US Supreme Court has not clearly overturned major Insular Cases (like Bidwell or Balzac that state: “Puerto Rico is an unincorporated Territory more foreign than domestic…belongs to but is not part of the US…”)—along with Harris vs Rosario, based on this, states that Congress can broadly discriminate in applying the US Constitution to un-incorporated Territories—terms not found in the US Constitution… Thus, there is no US Supreme Court decision that states PR is not an “un-incorporated US Territory”.
Among other distinguished Supreme Court Judges/ Law Scholars that have criticized the Insular Cases are:
- Former Chief Justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court José Trías Monge has stated that “The Insular Cases were based on premises that in today’s world seem bizarre. “They,” Trias Monge continues, “and the policies on which they rest, answer to the following notions:
“democracy and colonialism are fully compatible; there is nothing wrong when a democracy such as the United States engages in the business of governing other [subjects who have not participated in their democratic election process]; people are not created equal, some races being superior to others.”
- In Harris v. Rosario, 446 U.S. 651 (1980), the Court in a succinct per curium order, applied Califano v. Torres, 435 U. S. 1 (1978), to hold that a lower level of aid to families with dependent children to residents of Puerto Rico did not violate the Equal Protection Clause, because in U.S. territories Congress can discriminate against its citizens applying a rational basis standard. However, Justice Marshall issued a staunch dissent, again noting that Puerto Ricans are United States Citizens and that the Insular Cases are indeed questionable.
- In Torres v. Puerto Rico, 442 U.S. 465 (1979), JUSTICE BRENNAN, with whom JUSTICE STEWART, JUSTICE MARSHALL, and JUSTICE BLACKMUNjoin, concurring in the judgment, cited Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1, 14 (1957), in which Mr. Justice Black said “The concept that the Bill of Rights & other constitutional protections against arbitrary government are inoperative when they become inconvenient or when expediency dictates otherwise is a very dangerous doctrine and if allowed to flourish would destroy the benefit of a written Constitution and undermine the basis of our Government.”
- Former US Attorney General; Under Secretary General of the United Nations Dick Thornburgh, in his book (Puerto Rico’s Future-a time to decide-2007) states: “Four million U.S. citizens live under the U.S. flag in Puerto Rico, yet they can neither vote for president nor have voting representation in Congress, which enacts the federal laws under which they live. Residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories are deprived of basic rights of self-determination that U.S. citizens generally enjoy and that the United States has committed itself to achieving for peoples around the globe.”
- “Political gridlock in Congress and in Puerto Rico has stymied efforts to put Puerto Rico on a path toward a permanent political status that ensures full self-government for its residents. If Congress does not act soon, U.S. courts may be asked to give more serious consideration to whether the residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories have political and human rights under U.S. and international law that can no longer be ignored by the political branches of government.”
- Besides, Thornburgh states: “The ruling of the Supreme Court in Rogers v. Bellei 401 U.S. 815 (1970), regarding the nature of statutory citizenship is consistent with the conclusion that even a statutory extension of the Fourteenth Amendment to Puerto Rico could not limit the discretion of Congress to amend or repeal that statutory extension.”
- “Thus, the U.S. citizenship created under 8 U.S.C. §1402 does not and cannot offer the permanent or constitutional protection of the Fourteenth Amendment to the people of Puerto Rico. Similarly, the protection of persons born in a State of the Union under Afroyim v. Rusk 307 U.S. 253 (1967) would not prevent Congress from changing laws defining the citizenship of people born in Puerto Rico.”
- Even President Obama’s Administration has stated in a brief filed (13 August 2014) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Tuana v. US)that, essentially, “Puerto Ricans can only obtain citizenship through the Constitution — versus through law — by Puerto Rico becoming a State or by being put on the path to statehood by Congress”. This means Puerto Ricans born in Puerto Rico have a non-permanent statutory (by law only) US Citizenship no matter where they reside. Extract:
- “In a case concerning American Samoa, the Justice Department explained that 14th Amendment citizenship does not apply in a territory that has not “been incorporated into the United States as a part thereof” but “is simply held . . . under the sovereignty of the United States as a possession or dependency,” using the words of the U.S. Supreme Court. (It identified Puerto Rico as another unincorporated territory).”
- “Of even broader relevance for Puerto Rico’s territory status, the Obama Justice Department noted, again quoting the Supreme Court, that Congress “has full and complete legislative authority over” territories and “may do for the Territories what the people, under the Constitution of the United States, may do for the States.”
- “It emphasized that, “the responsibility of Congress to govern this nation’s territories has long been recognized and respected by the Courts.”
- “Machen’s brief also pointed out that Congress has the “legislative discretion” to grant “privileges” to those born in “the outlying possessions” as it “sees fit,” recalling that “the Supreme Court has never found that the Congress must bestow all of the same panoply of privileges upon those born in the outlying possessions that the Constitution bestows on those born in the United States.”
- “U.S. citizenship is granted to individuals born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, another unincorporated territory, by law.”
- In June 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship does not apply to territories including American Somoa (that has US Nationals), and Puerto Rico (that has US Citizens).
- The DC Circuit, to reach their decision, agreed with the Obama Administration’s lawyers, also, relied on and even expanded the scope of a set of racially-charged, Colonial-era “Insular Cases” that refer to Puerto Rico having “savages” and “alien races”….. Plus, that the Congress has the power to discriminate in applying the US Constitution to the Territories or Property that belongs to the US… to reach their decision. (They failed to provide more weight to the US Constitution Amendments over the undemocratic Territorial Clause…; allowed Terms (not found in the US Constitution)–Non-Incorporated; more foreign than domestic… to be unfairly applied to US Citizens.)
- President GW Bush Task Force on Puerto Rico Status Report Highlights:
The inter-agency Task Force Report on PR Status was commissioned by President Clinton; continued under President GW. Bush, was released in December 2005/ re-visited in 2007–after 7+ years of research, law reviews…; some objective findings are quoted below (which were not disputed by President Obama’s TF Report or the Justice Department position-as ratified by US Supreme Court 2016 decisions):
- “…for entities under the sovereignty of the United States, the only constitutional options are to be a State or Territory.”
(NOTE: Thus, the “Commonwealth” or “Free Associated State” terms– are not U.S. Constitutional terms, but political ones not found in the US Constitution …) (Also, the District of Columbia and Native Tribes have been described in the US Constitution aside States and Territories).
- “Puerto Rico, for purposes under the U.S. Constitution, is a Territory…it is, therefore, subject to congressional authority, under the Constitution’s Territorial Clause.”
(NOTE: Per US Supreme Court determination (1922). This means that P.R. remains a U.S. Territory sub-ordinate to all Federal Laws…; under the unilateral control of Congress — which has not permitted those American Citizens living in PR a vote to choose another status; a vote in Federal elections…nor have just representation in Congress… Remember that– Puerto Ricans are already U.S. Citizens that live under US jurisdiction; not “Territorial” or National Citizens.)
- “The existing form of Government in P.R. is often described as a “Commonwealth”, and this term recognizes the powers of self-government that Congress has allowed.”
(NOTE: Commonwealth or the Spanish translation “Free Associated State”=“Estado Libre Asociado” (ELA), is an incongruent/ conflictive political (mean nothing) term not found in the US Constitution. We need to stop fooling People! This politic(ELA) term refers to the self- local regulated territory government that is still subordinate to the U.S. Government (application of Federal Laws under the will of Congress…) Under the US Constitution: PR is not Free, not Associated, and not a State!
- “Congress may continue the current system, but it also may revise or revoke it at any time.” (NOTE: Congress has unilateral un-democratic tyrannical control of the trite U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico—there is no P.R. just voting representation in Congress…the US Supreme Court during America’s racist era, has determined that the Congress can set aside some non-basic Constitutional rights…allowing an un-equal US Citizenship under the American Flag…)
- “…a mutual-consent provision would be unenforceable and could not guarantee that any given political status or agreement would be permanent”.
(NOTE: Remember, a current Congress can’t bind a future Congress… There can’t be any true autonomy or pacts under the Territorial Clause because P.R. “belongs to”/ is a possession of the United States… P.R. has neither sovereignty… nor true autonomy. Only through independence can P.R. enact a true pact with the U.S.)
- “The Federal Government may relinquish U.S. sovereignty by granting independence or ceding the Territory to another nation; or it may, as the Constitution provides, admit a territory as a State thus making the Territory Clause inapplicable…”
(NOTE: Only non-territorial options are: Statehood or Independence. A form of independence like: Associated Republic… can, through a pact, maintain P.R. more closely associated with the U.S., but, P.R. would have to cede certain sovereign powers in exchange for benefits…another shade of gray? Can’t keep a permanent U.S. Citizenship with equal individual civil rights…)
- “If P.R. were to become independent “… those…who had U.S. Citizenship only by statute would cease to be citizens of the United States, unless a different rule were prescribed by legislation or treaty…” (Page 9)
(NOTE: Our Constitution only mentions two forms of permanent Citizenship: if you are born in a State or if you are “Naturalized” –in a State. It doesn’t mention “statutory citizenship”. Besides, you can’t be a sovereign Nation with the Citizenship and Constitution of another Nation! Where would the loyalty lie? Congress, in 1917, imposed this “statutory” American Citizenship through a Statue/Law that a future Congress can rescind…; the US Constitution is not equally applied to PR. Thus, some U.S. Citizens may not have the same equal/permanent Constitutional American Citizenship as others—born in the States or Naturalized.)
President GW Bush TF Recommendations include for Congress to conduct two federally sanctioned Plebiscites: one a yes or no vote on maintaining the Territorial Status under the will of Congress; if no, a vote on non-territorial options: Statehood or Independence…
- “Does the Constitution follow the flag?” Essentially, the Supreme Court has said– that full constitutional rights did not automatically extend to all areas under American control. The “deepest ramification” of the Insular Cases is that inhabitants of unincorporated territories such as Puerto Rico, “even if they are U.S. citizens”, may have no constitutional rights, such as to remain part of the United States if the United States chooses to engage in deannexation.
- Insular Cases, hence, oftentimes include (with about 2/3 decided Puerto Rico issues): DeLima v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 1 (1901) Argued: January 8–11, 1901 Decided: May 27, 1901; Goetze v. United States, 182 U.S. 221 (1901) Argued: December 17–20, 1900; January 14–15, 1901. Decided: May 27, 1901; Armstrong v. United States, 182 U.S. 243 (1901) Argued: January 8–11, 1901. Decided: May 27, 1901; Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 244 (1901) Argued: January 8–11, 1901. Decided: May 27, 1901; Huus v. New York & Porto Rico S.S. Co., 182 U.S. 392 (1901) Argued: January 11, 14, 1901. Decided: May 27, 1901; Dooley v. United States, 183 U.S. 151(1901) Argued: January 8–11, 1901. Decided: December 2, 1901; Fourteen Diamond Rings v. United States, 183 U.S. 176 (1901) Argued: December 17–20, 1900. Decided: December 2, 1901; Hawaii v. Mankichi, 190 U.S. 197 (1903); Kepner v. United States, 195 U.S. 100 (1904); Dorr v. United States, 195 U.S. 138 (1904);Gonzales v. Williams, 192 U.S. 1 (1904); Rasmussen v. United States, 197 U.S. 516 (1905); Dowdell v. United States, 221 U.S. 325 (1911); Ocampo v. United States, 234 U.S. 91 (1914); Balzac v. Porto Rico, 258 U.S. 298 (1922); Torres v. Puerto Rico, 442 U.S. 465 (1979)
Anyone can speculate; have an opinion. But, we must act based on the preponderance of facts presented; good analysis, reason, and other research that confirms:
“…the prevailing consensus among scholars, lawmakers and policymakers is that Puerto Ricans are not entitled to a constitutional citizenship status. While Puerto Ricans are officially U.S. citizens, the territory remains unincorporated. This contradiction has enabled the governance of Puerto Rico as a separate and unequal territory that belongs to, but is not a part of, the United States.” (Professor V. Santiago, UC)
Some People that have stated that Puerto Ricans have a: 2d Class US Citizenship (which I have documented) are: US Attorney General Thornburg, US Circuit Judge Torruellas, Gov. Jeb Bush (on tape); elected PR RC (Congresswoman) Jennifer Gonzalez; elected PR Governor Ricardo Rossello; elected PR President of the Senate; elected PR Speaker of the House, many other Former Puerto Rico Governors (Fortuno, Barcelo, and Ferre), and many others. (Ask them about my comments, & facts.)
If you have substantiated input or would like more information or empirical evidence–please EMAIL me: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 407-298-1151. I remain at your service!
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