Puerto Rico Essay

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Puerto Rico is an island located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States. The islands of Puerto Rico were acquired by the United States in 1898, where Spain ceded the islands to the U.S.
In 1917, the Jones Act declared Puerto Rico to be an “organized but incorporated” territory of the United States, and granted US citizenship to all the residents who wanted it. An “unincorporated territory”, according to the US Supreme Court Insular Cases, of the Unites States is ‘a territory appurtenant and belonging to the United States, but not a part of the United States’. [Lawson p.1124] Since 1952, Puerto Rico, by mutual consent of its people and the United States government, has been a
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[Falcón p.28]
During the 110th Congress, three bills concerning Puerto Rico’s political status were introduced. There was the H.R. 900, which would have sanctioned a plebiscite. In the plebiscite, the citizens of Puerto Rico would have voted on whether they wanted to continue the status quo or proceeding toward non-territorial status. The second bill was the H.R. 1230, which would have endorsed a constitutional convention and referendum in Puerto Rico to reflect on status options. There was a meeting held for these two bills in October 2007, by the House Natural Resources Committee. The committee favored an amended version of HR 900, with an intermingling of the two House bills. In August, another House bill was introduced, the S.1936, which proposed a single plebiscite in which the voters would choose between the options of continuing the status quo, acquiring an status of independence or statehood. [Bea p.9-10]
In the 111th Congress, another House Bill was introduced, that concerned the political status of Puerto Rico, the H.R. 2499. H.R. 2499 would permit a two-stage plebiscite in Puerto Rico to reconsider the status issue. This bill was similar to H.R. 900, the only difference being that the 111th Congress legislation would frame the plebiscite questions

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