While the 3.4 million Puerto Ricans living on the island territory are also U.S. citizens by birthright, they have no vote nor representation in Congress because the government will not recognize them as a state. But there are 5.3 million fellow Puerto Ricans in the 50 states, who can vote. If Rosselló can unify them, they would be a political force to be reckoned with.
“We are a significant voting bloc in the United States that perhaps hasn’t been organized well in the past,” he said. “The diaspora, the Puerto Rican exodus, has always wanted to help Puerto Rico, it just hasn’t been crystal clear how they can do it. If we can establish that organization we can have plenty of influence.”
By highlighting the island’s legal status, thwarted from becoming their own state, Rosselló believes the diaspora of Puerto Ricans can sway congressional district votes in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, and Texas.
Puerto Rico governor reminds Washington that Puerto Ricans are US citizens and "deserve equal treatment" https://t.co/kZVMl4tFNU
— CNN International (@cnni) December 20, 2017
The fact that the U.S. government has yet to allow Puerto Rico to become a rightful state is “this big elephant in the room,” according to Rosselló.
“What are we going to do with a colonial territory in the 21st century?” Rosselló said. “The United States has unfinished business. It holds the oldest and most populated colonial territory in the world.”
“Having no representation is a clear disadvantage and if you need any more evidence of this just look at the tax reform. Just because we don’t have representation we got railroaded.”