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LULAC Supports Granting Statehood to Puerto Rico

June 13, 2017

Washington, DC – On Sunday, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico voted in favor of statehood in a non-binding referendum to become America’s 51st state.

In response, LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. issued the following statement:

“Puerto Ricans deserve the same equal rights as all Americans. The island is facing detrimental hardship after filing for the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history last year. Statehood would provide the people of Puerto Rico with better career and educational opportunities as well as grant the island access to an increase in federal funds. The island currently receives significantly less funds for programs like Medicaid, compared to U.S. states. Statehood would provide Puerto Rico with more power in Congress and more influence on national issues that transcend the states and impact the island. We urge Congress to respect Puerto Rico’s vote and move forward with making the U.S. territory a state. This is good for Puerto Rico and for all of America.”

Approximately 97 percent of Puerto Rican voters favored becoming a state. However, the results are non-binding and the decision to make Puerto Rico a state can only be implemented by Congress. LULAC has been a strong advocate for Puerto Rico’s statehood, urging Congress to grant all American citizens, regardless of where they reside, equal protections and benefits. Giving statehood to Puerto Rico falls in line with our founding principles as stated in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution to help “create a more perfect Union.”

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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.

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