Puerto Rico’s Congressman addressing the U.S. Congress on Statehood Vote
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL” – unless you are an American citizen living on the island of Puerto Rico.
Today, Congressman Pedro Pierluisi – the ONLY representative for Puerto Rico in the U.S. Congress (and, hamstrung by being a non-voting member at that!) – served his constituents well as he issued a wake up call to his fellow members of Congress. It would be wise for them to listen, lest they dig their hole even deeper with my fellow Hispanics – including my 83 year old uncle, a professor with a Master’s degree, who has never, in his entire lifetime, been granted the privilege of voting for his own President of these great United States (see him in photo below).
As the President reinvigorates his promise to reform immigration, he’d better remember that Puerto Ricans deserve to be his priority because they are LEGAL AMERICANS. They’ve not broken any laws in crossing illegal borders or robbing jobs and social services from our nation’s economy. They do pay taxes and comply with federal legislation, while politely tolerating their second-class citizen status that disenfranchises them from voting for their own Commander in Chief. So, with all this talk about the impact of the Latino vote in the re-election of President Obama, why aren’t the pundits pointing out that more than two million LEGAL AMERICANS of Hispanic origin were willingly banned from voting on November 6th?
Further, our President and members of Congress seem determined to reward the negative behavior (perpetrated on our nation by those who’ve entered our country illegally) by first addressing the issue of immigration reform. To the U.S. Congress and President Obama I say, you’d be better serving our nation by simultaneously elevating Puerto Rico’s request for a congressional debate on statehood and – at the very least! – granting my fellow Puerto Ricans living on the island equal voting rights in time for our next presidential election in 2016.
To level the playing field for illegal members of our society before you resolve the injustice of your fellow Americans living without equal representation and voting rights would simply be unjust. Surely the needs of our LEGAL AMERICANS should be the priority, lest your fellow countrymen begin to doubt the sanctity of their rights granted by the U.S. Constitution. NEWYORICANGIRL