Washington, D.C. - Researchers with Harvard University have set the death toll from the devastating storm at 4,675, not the 64 reported by emergency officials and attribute the higher count to a failure in the government’s response following the disaster....
“The House bill presented today is a triumph for all of Puerto Rico,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “The island will receive an unprecedented amount of funds and we are on track to meet our goal that not a single Puerto Rican is without adequate insurance.”
These economic and civil rights inequities must be eradicated. We are petitioning the President of the United States and Congress, to pass legislation allowing the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico to choose among non-territorial, non-colonial options.
One hundred years ago, Puerto Rico became a part of the United States in settlement of the Spanish-American War. Nineteen years later, the United States granted U.S. citizenship to the Island's inhabitants. Using its authority under the "territorial" clause of the U.S. Constitution, Congress over time has extended a measure of local self-rule to the American citizens of Puerto Rico. The current structure of local government, commonly known as "Commonwealth" was enacted in 1952.
We, the undersigned leaders of the Hispanic community across the United States, celebrate during National Hispanic Heritage Month the many ways in which Hispanic Americans contribute daily to strengthen our Nation's social, moral and economic fabric. In this spirit, we strongly believe that Congress has a responsibility to ensure that the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico, like all American citizens, are afforded equal opportunities to participate in the political process of this great Nation by extending them the right of self-determination. Failure to extend this fundamental principle to our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico would undermine the immense efforts and strides Hispanics, and all other ethnic groups throughout our history, have made to fully participate as equals in this democracy.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. My name is Rick Dovalina and I am President of LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens. LULAC is the oldest and largest membership based civil rights organization for Hispanics in the United States.
In letters made public today, leaders of a national coalition of six leading U.S. Hispanic organizations urged Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Energy and Resources Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) to move the U.S.-Puerto Rico Status Act (S.472) to the Senate Floor for a vote before the August recess. S.472 and a companion bill, H.R. 856, which passed the House on March 4, 1998, would authorize a referendum allowing the 3.8 million American citizens of Puerto Rico to choose among three status options: statehood, independence, or commonwealth.
We are writing to urge you to take prompt action on S. 472, a bill which would provide self-determination for Puerto Rico. The 3.8 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico have waited 100 years for the opportunity to determine their permanent political status. We do not think that they should be denied their full civil rights any longer.
In what may be the first major bipartisan poll of registered Hispanic voters in major markets nationwide, Hispanics in the United States reveal strong optimism about their futures and by a newly 2 to 1 margin express confidence that the country is on the right track.
The Hispanic Coalition for Puerto Rican Self-Determination, a broad-based association of national Hispanic organizations, today called upon the Senate Republican Leadership to move forward without delay to adopt legislation extending the right of self-determination to the 3.8 million United States citizens of Puerto Rico.