Rep. Gutiérrez on One-Sided June 11 “Plebiscite” in Puerto Rico
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement in advance of Sunday’s vote in Puerto Rico that is ostensibly a plebiscite on the Island’s future status.
The supporters of statehood are selling a fantasy that a Latino, Caribbean nation will be admitted as a state during the era of Donald Trump; That states, many of which supported Trump, will accept a Spanish-speaking state that will receive just as many Senators and maybe even more House seats than they currently have; And all of this for an Island the U.S. has made deeply in debt with a sputtering economic engine that leaves Puerto Rico significantly poorer and more dependent than even our poorest states. I do not point out Puerto Rico’s problems to denigrate my fellow Puerto Ricans, simply to point out the reality that what is being peddled by the supporters of statehood is a fantasy.
Let’s focus on job creation that showcases the talent and creativity of the Puerto Rican people. That is the path forward towards a brighter economic future, which is the fundamental bedrock on which Puerto Rico survives and thrives and grows, regardless of its political status.
Those who advocate statehood in Puerto Rico will claim that this Sunday’s vote is a referendum on statehood. That is a fiction, because it’s clear that only one party will participate in the one-sided election and because the U.S. Government has not made any sort of commitment to honor this vote. So, regardless of how carefully the Statehooders dress it up to look like a legitimate democratic process, the June 11 plebiscite is a farce.
Rep. Gutiérrez supports independence and economic self-sufficiency for Puerto Rico. He is in his 13th term representing the Fourth District of Illinois. He was born in Chicago to parents who were migrants from Puerto Rico. He is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and is the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
# # #