Democrats Hopeful Control of Congress Means Puerto Rico Statehood Back on Table

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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Puerto Rico was trending on Twitter Wednesday evening (Jan. 27) as people discussed the long-debated issue about why the United States territory has not been granted statehood yet. With a new bill introduced to make Washington D.C. the 51st state, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich said “nothing should be left off the table” now that Democrats have control of Congress.

While the population has declined in recent years because of hurricanes Maria and Irma, the number of people that live in Puerto Rico still stands at more than three million. This means that Puerto Rico has more U.S. citizens living there than in 20 states in the mainland U.S.

With these numbers, people online wondered how it’s fair that Puerto Rico has no representation in Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats introduced a bill to make D.C. a state. If passed, this would likely give Democrats more power in the Senate since D.C. is a liberal stronghold. Some believe if Puerto Rico were given statehood, its citizens, too, would vote for progressive representation to Congress.

Puerto Ricans requested statehood in November 2020. According to a recent survey, 52.3% of voters are in favor of changing the island’s status from unincorporated territory to U.S. state.

“The time has come for Puerto Rico to become a state,” says Puerto Rico’s Governor Pedro Pierluisi.

Some believed it should only be left up to Puerto Ricans to decide if they want statehood.

Whatever happens with Puerto Rico’s statehood in the future, at least they’ll never have to see this again.