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President Trump’s Response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico Confirms Second-Class Citizenship

President Trump’s Response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico Confirms Second-Class Citizenship

Gabriela Meléndez Olivera

Citizens who reside on the island, do not even have the right to vote in presidential elections.

The Supreme Court cases came to an unjust conclusion: that the U.S. could rule over certain people without granting them the full constitutional rights enjoyed by their brothers and sisters across the ocean.

However, they have the “right” to pay Federal taxes…


And they have the “right” to be in the military, follow orders and kill other people around the world for that government that owns them. If they go back home at the end of their hitch, they revert to second class citizens again, and lose their voting rights.
*The stagnant cesspool that is DC should be pumped out, filled in, and a government “of the people, by the people and for the people” should be established in its place. It is way overdue!

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I think this article - and comments - has a few inaccuracies. In the days of incorporated territories (i.e., when the regions of the 50 states were not states yet), folks living there did not have representation either. so I’m not sure what the author is trying to say. And it doesn’t matter where a USA citizen comes from; a person who had live all his life in Florida loses his right to vote if he resides in Puerto Rico just as someone who has lived his entire life in Puerto Rico has never had it.

Also, it should be noted that Puerto Rican residents do NOT pay federal income tax - a citizenship burden - although they do pay FICA tax, but that’s not a citizenship burden. And as for being subject to conscription, all permanent resident aliens are subject to it as well (and conscription today is all but a theoretical issue in any case). The citizenship issue with unincorporated territories could be thought of as the citizenship being shared, so citizenship of the incorporated USA could be considered as co-mingling with the citizenship of the unincorporated USA.

Now as for my opinion of the whole situation, aside from strategic military issues, I think all the unincorporated territories should be allowed to go free, with the possibility of being in free association with the USA (this is an arrangement that exists for states that have been formed from the Trust Territories of the Pacific, that were administered by the USA after WW2). It would seem that only Guam has such significant strategic value. That said, with the exception of Puerto Rico, these territories have so few inhabitants that it could be tough for them to be able to support the infrastructure of a sovereign state.

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