Your Highness Ryan Patrick, Princess Jade Oliver, Lord Garrett Volk, Lady Brittany Short, Sir Zach Humphreys, Madam Rachel Humphreys

Period 5

Puerto Rico for Statehood?

Background on the Question of Statehood for Puerto Rico

Our group has agreed that the United States should accept Puerto Rico's request for a transition from a territory to a state. We believe Puerto Rico should become a state because it would add more naval ports, the ability to tax, and cultural influences throughout the Caribbean.

How is the Puerto Rican Experience Similar/Different From Other Territories That Have Become States?

The background involving Puerto Rico becoming a state involves multiple things. First, the residents want to be able to vote in presidential elections. Second, their foreign policy is already dictated by Washington, so no foreign policy adjustments would be needed. Third, Puerto Rico would gain an extra $20 billion a year in federal funds if they become a state. Lastly, Puerto Rico would receive more representation in Congress.

The experience is similar in that Puerto Rico, along with Alaska and Hawaii, is a territory that could become a state. The experience is different in that Puerto Rico, if accepted, will be added into the United States half a century after the last two states were added. Also, Puerto Rico would be different from 48 of the other states because it is not part of the contiguous U.S.

Reasons in Favor of Statehood:

Some agree on Puerto Rico becoming a state because we can take federal taxes, it's already owned by the United States, and the government would receive a tax revenue on the money being spent there. Also, it would create a U.S. presence throughout the Caribbean.

Reasons Against Statehood:

Reasons opposing Puerto Rican statehood include the possibility of the United States interfering with cultural values, the Puerto Rican debt possibly effecting the United States, and Puerto Rico not being an independent nation in the Olympic Games. Also, the Jones Act would have to be repealed. In other words, any ships traveling between Puerto Rico and the United States would have to be taxed.

What Groups Are on Our Side? Do They Have Any "Hidden Agendas?"

In a recent 2012 poll,  both Republicans and Democrats supported Puerto Rico becoming a state. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Puerto Rico is 46.3% manufacturing which means the U.S. would gain a boost in economy if Puerto Rico was admitted. Some Democrats feel that adding Puerto Rico as a state would create an economic ditch due to poverty, debt, and differences in culture. The Republican response favors statehood because the U.S. could formally tax Puerto Rico, have more sea ports, and have more military instillations. Also, Puerto Rico would be a good influence on surrounding islands, such as Cuba. Puerto Rico has Spanish ties, which makes culturally closer to Cuba  and its influence could spread to surrounding islands in the Caribbean. (Certain politicians from both parties have different views on the admittance of Puerto Rico.)

The Poll

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