In 2008, the fact that there are about 4 million Latinos, mostly the residents of Puerto Rico, who are United States citizens but do not have the full rights of most American citizens emerged in dramatic terms. There was the oddity of the Democratic and Republican parties holding presidential primaries in Puerto Rico although the people of Puerto Rico, all US citizens, could not vote for president in the general election. In addition, although they are US citizens, the people of Puerto Rico do not send full voting representatives to the US Congress, but only one Resident Commissioner who cannot vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, and no one to the US Senate. Will President-elect Obama be able to resolve the status problem during his first term as he has pledged? We wish him luck on that one! -- Angelo Falcon, president and founder of the National Institute for Latino Policy, which is based in NYC.
This article by Angelo Falcon was originally published in the recent issue of the National Institute for Latino Policy's e-newsletter.