Citizenship in the Process of Self Determination
of the Status of Puerto Rico

 

A process has begun in the United States Congress to allow residents of Puerto Rico to determine, through a plebiscite, the permanent and final political status of the island.

This process began in the U.S. House of Representatives where project HR-528, known as the Young Bill (Named after its main sponsor Rep. Don Young, R-Ak) was approved by the narrow margin of one vote. More recently the U.S. Senate is reviewing their own project S-472, more known as the Craig Bill (Named after its main sponsor Sen. Larry Craig (R-Id). This project has gone through several workshops and public hearings by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee under the leadership of Senator Frank Murkowski (R-Ak).

At the present time both the statehood and commonwealth parties include definite, irrevocable American citizenship in their own platforms and status definitions. Both groups account for an overwhelming majority, nearly 96% of all voters (As per 1993 plebiscite). Some advocates for independence favor the retaining both Puerto Rican and American citizenship. With this in view we can state that a totality of Puerto Rico voters would favor continuing our American citizenship.

A controversy exists in which the Popular Democratic Party and proponents of commonwealth claim there exists a bilateral agreement by which any changes to the U.S.-Puerto Rico relationship requires the consent of both sides, and the claim that American citizenship is irrevocable. After considerable research we have not found any evidence of these two claims. The commonwealth advocates have been unable to produce any documents or evidence of such claim. The statehood followers and the New Progressive Party claim our status falls within the "territorial clause" of the constitution and at the mercy of Congress. The same, they claim, holds true for our American Citizenship (For us born and residing in Puerto Rico). A number of congressmen and experts have voiced the same claim.

We invite the Popular Democratic Party to submit their evidence of the above-mentioned claim in order to clear both items. Said evidence will be published, when received, under this subject.

John A. Regis Jr., July, 1998  


We invite political parties, politicians, organizations and the general public to submit articles dealing with the Self Determination process and its influence or effect on United States-Puerto Rico relationships, mainly American Citizenship.

Considerable information regarding the process of free determination can be found in our own web page as well as under puertoricoherald.org You can access this web page directly by "clicking" on www.puertoricoherald.org under our Links Section. This is an excellent up to the minute web site specifically on the subject of free determination. You will find puertoricoherald.org very interesting and informative.




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This web page is maintained by John A. Regis Jr.
For more information please contact us at prusa@puertoricousa.com.
Copyright 1998, Puerto Rico USA Citizenship Foundation.