Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Deceitful Tactics to Make Puerto Rico a State

Most Americans do not want Puerto Rico to become our 51st state in the United States. One of the many reasons is that making Puerto Rico a state would overnight turn the United States into a bilingual country. The overwhelming majority of Americans want English to be our official national language. Our Constitution and all our laws are written in English, and English is the common tongue that unites us. Most Puerto Ricans speak a language other than English, and do not want to accept English as their official language. Other countries that have two or more languages have experienced major national problems. Even in Canada a few years ago. the province of Quebec almost seceded from Canada largely over the language issue.

However, a few lobbyists are trying to make Puerto Rico a state, and they have concocted a deceitful scheme to achieve their goal. This plan calls for Congress to pass legislation requiring two referenda in Puerto Rico. The wording of the proposed ballots is rigged in a very dishonest way. The first referendum would require voters to vote yes-or-no on the current political status. If the current status doesn't win a majority, there will be a second referendum. But in round two, voters will have only two choices.* They will be forced to choose between statehood or full independence and not have any chance to vote for the present commonwealth status. In order words, the two ballots are rigged to produce a result in favor of statehood, thus overriding the wishes of both Americans and of Puerto Ricans who want to maintain the current commonwealth status.

Puerto Ricans have made it clear that they like their current status with the United States. That should not be changed by forcing them to vote in a rigged election. The bill now in Congress should be defeated.

*Editor's Note: After this commentary was recorded, the House passed the Foxx amendment to the Puerto Rico bill (H.R. 2499), which gives Puerto Ricans four options (including commonwealth) in the second referendum.

Listen to this commentary:

Further Reading: Puerto Rico Statehood


Anonymous said...

It is unconstitutional for the federal government to establish an official language.

Anonymous said...

Thtat is not true. The second referendum has four choices. Statehood, Current Commonwealth, Free association, and independence. Read the bill before you attack Puertoricans with your bigotry. Puertoricans are proud US citizens since 1917 and have fought in every war since. Puerto Rico's has two official languages, english and spanish. Just like New Mexico. Other states have two languages two; Hawaii, Louisiana, etc. Puerto Rico's constitution requires government officials to be fluent in english. What's the problem then? Why is it a problem of the government the language that you use at home?

Let Puerto Ricans decide for themselves.

By the way, most Puerto Ricans are Pro-Life and Pro-Family.

This really isn't about the language, it's about racism and bigotry.

Anonymous said...

This article itself is very deceitful. First, in Puerto Rico,English is already the official language together with Spanish and every parent wants their children to be fluent in both tongues. Second, The Puerto Rico Democracy Act ( HR 2499 ) as amended and approved last month includes the current Commonwealth status together with Statehood, Independence and Free Association as one of four choices in the second referendum round. Third, Puerto Rico is not Canada. We have been loyal American citizens since 1917 and our loyalty to our Nation is well proven in the battlefields where our soldiers have defended our freedom with great valor. Fourth, stop denigrating the Spanish language. It is very much part of our history since Ponce de Leon landed in Florida in 1513 and Spanish was spoken in our land for almost a century before the first English settlers arrived in Jamestown .Fifth, look at the names of some of some of our states:Florida ( after Pascua Florida or Easter Sunday), Texas ( roof shingles ),Colorado(red),Arizona ( Arid Zone ), New Mexico, Nevada ( Snow Fall ), Montana( Mountain), California ( the land of limestone and ovens )--all in Spanish and for a very good reason: they are part of our proud Hispanic heritage and we demand that you respect and honor it.

Dr. Antonio Longo

Randy Haddock said...

Wrote a response to this post: http://randyhaddock.com/post/638585064/phyllis-schlafly-is-wrong-on-puerto-rico-statehood

Jose Fuentes said...

Sound Conservatism and Puerto Rico

By Jose Fuentes

Phyllis Schlafly’s rabid opposition to a legitimate political status referendum in Puerto Rico conveys both ignorance and arrogance to our fellow Americans from Puerto Rico, as well as other large ethnic communities the GOP needs to achieve majority.

Four million Americans in Puerto Rico are not immigrants, we are U.S. citizens at birth by law. So Schlafly’s uncomprehending hostility to government by consent of the governed for Puerto Rico is not just offensive to residents of the territory, it also alienates the additional 4 million Americans from Puerto Rico who live and vote in the 50 states.

Puerto Rico’s conservative GOP Governor has courageously cut government payrolls and debt spending, acting far more boldly than most GOP Governors, with grass roots support from Puerto Rico’s socially conservative voters. Because our GOP Senate President and GOP Speaker of the House in Puerto Rico are helping the Governor realign the territory politically, the far left is now hiring GOP surrogates to manipulate knee-jerk ideologues like Schlafly, and hijack issues like English language policy, to confuse the GOP on Puerto Rico’s status debate.

We saw this on April 29, when the House approved H.R. 2499, defining constitutionally valid options for a status referendum in Puerto Rico. By opposing H.R. 2499 based on her opinions, Schlafly walked into the trap shrewdly set by Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, hoping for Republican opposition to drive a wedge between the GOP and Hispanic voters.

Schlafly got so rattled by phony right wing scare tactics she didn’t do her homework, and was duped. It was Schlafly’s new found socialist commonwealth party friends who ended English as an official and equal language in the territory’s government and schools, and the statehood party she blindly opposes restored English as an official language. Contrary to the disinformation Schlafly uncritically channels for the left, voters never approved the current status, no option ever received a majority, and statehood got the highest vote among available options in 1998.

Schlafly even went so far as to say, “Most Americans do not want Puerto Rico to become our 51st state,” because that would turn the U.S. “…overnight into a bilingual country.” Well, Louisiana, Hawaii, Alaska, New Mexico and California all have a history of official bilingualism, so does Schlafly think those states should be severed from the union as part of her ethnic cleansing crusade?

Independent polls show most Americans are highly receptive to Puerto Rican statehood should a majority approve it, including conservative Hispanics. There is a reason Ronald Reagan strongly supported statehood for Puerto Rico, based on federally sponsored self-determination on options defined by Congress. Get real Phyllis, on this issue you are hurting the GOP.

Jose Fuentes is the former Attorney General of Puerto Rico and former vice-chair of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly.

Anonymous said...

FYI Texas is from Tejas, the Native American word for friendship. NOT roof shingles.


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