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Becoming Our 51st State: What Comes Next?

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Our south-eastern neighbor, Puerto Rico, voted for statehood on June 11, 2017. The turnout was 97% in favor of statehood, a 19.5% increase since the last voting session in 2012. Even though less than half of the population didn’t vote, 300,000 fewer people voted this year than in 2012. Despite the fact that they are classified as a U.S. territory, they are not a part of the United States, which is a reason they voted for statehood. According to Hillary Clinton, 2016 President candidate, “Puerto Ricans are citizens of America. They deserve to be treated as citizens, and to be given the opportunity to get back on their feet.”

To get the feeling of how their previous government functioned, which led to the overwhelming vote for statehood, they used funds for issues like medicare and put it toward extraneous things that aren’t needed. The outcome of that led to economic instability causing prices to double for consumer goods such as $9 for milk and $5 for fruits. Roads with uneven pavement and inappropriate disposal of tires make driving a perilous endeavor.

Since they are not under our government, and are suffering from their own, they do not have the freedoms we do. Not only would they gain a safety net of economic stability from our resources, they would be able to vote for the U.S. President and receive the equality Americans do. One drawback would be the fact that their economy is so weak that our government would be drained of resources, what little we have, to build them back up.

Also, with their high unemployment, they can benefit by being part of our nation that would help them tremendously. Once Puerto Rico’s economy improves, people will start returning to make the island a more economical society.

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The student news site of Farragut High School
Becoming Our 51st State: What Comes Next?