The Message of “Igualdad” (Equality)
The “Igualdad” (Equality) group has a simple and compelling objective.
Equality: Equality with the rest of our fellow US Citizens who reside in the 50 States.
The “Igualdad” movement is a nonpartisan grass root citizen’s advocacy group to demand the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all US Citizens who reside in Puerto Rico that are inalienable rights and responsibilities of all US Citizens who reside in the 50 States of the Union.
All American Citizens, residents of Puerto Rico, suffer from geographic discrimination, segregationist‘s policies and “deficit of democratic rights” because we cannot vote for the President or elect voting representatives to Congress. Furthermore the US Constitution does not protect the US Citizens who reside in Puerto Rico in the same manner it protects other US Citizens.
Puerto Rico has been a colonial possession of the United States for over 114 years. The U.S. Supreme Court and Congress gave Puerto Rico a new classification in the Federal System as an “Unincorporated Territory”, a status that denies the equal protection under US Constitution. The “unincorporated territorial status” that supports geographic discrimination, was adopted at a time of discrimination against minorities that have been corrected since then, except for the residents in Puerto Rico.
The interpretation of the “unincorporated Territory status” by the Supreme Court and Congress is not consistent with the fact that in 1952 President Truman signed USC§1402, changing the Statutory American Citizenship granted to all persons born in Puerto Rico in 1917 (Jones Act) to Native Born American Citizens born after January 1941.
The results of the November 6th, 2012 referendum, in which the American Citizens residents in Puerto Rico voted with the participation of 77.6% of all able voters, the residents of Puerto Rico rejected the current territorial status of Commonwealth with an absolute majority of 54%; removing the consent of the governed to this discriminatory status, and demanding a non-colonial status.
In the second question on the same referendum, the residents of Puerto Rico were given the option to select the preferred Non Colonial Status, and Statehood obtained a super majority of 61%.
“Igualdad” is petitioning Congress for Equality with the rest of our fellow American Citizens through the only path that will lead to equality, admission to the Union as the 51st State.
It is profoundly unfair and demoralizing for Puerto Rico that President Obama end Congress are in the process of approving legislation to grant to 11 million people -who entered unlawfully in this country- the US citizenship with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities that have been and are denied to Puertorricans that are US citizens since 1917 and have fought and given their lives in all US wars to preserve our democratic way of living. This is also unfair to the legions of US born citizens living in Puerto Rico who also remain disenfranchised in a less than equal citizenship status for the fact that they are residents of Puerto Rico.
We as representatives of the “Igualdad” movement are asking you as [Senator, Congressperson or your S. or C, if it is a staff member who receives the group] to support and assist us in our long trek towards equality with our fellow American Citizens. The course of action that will permit the citizens of Puerto Rico to achieve equality will require that you endorse our just cause in three specific ways that can be summarized:
Support- Our 114 years quest for equality with the rest of our fellow American Citizens.
Promote- The conditions that will facilitate the admission of Puerto Rico as the 51st State of the Union ending its territorial status of 114 years;
Co-sponsor- an Enabling Act that will stipulate the conditions for admission of Puerto Rico as the 51st State of the Union; and become an Advocate for incorporation and vote for the Admission of Puerto Rico as the 51st State of the Union.
Salient Points to be brought by the “Igualdad” Advocacy Teams
in their Meetings with Congress
- We are Native Born US Citizens
- All Americans that happen to reside in Puerto Rico, irrespective of where they were born will suffer the same geographic discrimination. Since a person born in Pennsylvania that resides in Puerto Rico also losses his rights to vote for the President and elect members to Congress that will represent his interests, and will see the benefits that should apply equally to all Americans diminished.
- No mention is made of the other decolonizing options because “Igualdad” is about equality under the American Flag and within the US Constitution.
- “Igualdad” will support the Resident Commissioners task of achieving consensus, and support from Republicans and Democrats to finally give us Equality and to obtain an Enabling Act.
- Once the Resident Commissioner starts the path to prepare legislation for an Enabling Act, “Igualdad” will become an Advocacy Group for an Enabling Act that is acceptable to the majority of the Citizens of Puerto Rico that will result in a super majority in the referendum that will be enacted with Congressional approval.
- American citizens residing in the Republic of Costa Rica can vote for the President of the United States and receives the Supplemental Social Security rights that are denied to American citizens residing in the territory of Puerto Rico; this is tantamount to a segregationist policy!