Last updated on: 6/26/2020 11:05:01 AM PST
Should Puerto Rico Be Given Statehood?
Puerto Rico has been a US territory since 1898. The 3.4 million people who live on the island are American citizens but cannot vote in presidential elections or elect a voting member of Congress. Residents of Puerto RIco do not pay federal income taxes, though they do pay payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare. There is no official process for a territory to become a state, but Puerto Rican officials have been lobbying for statehood since the 1960s.
Source: Alexia Fernández Campbell, "Puerto Rico's Push for Statehood, Explained," vox.com, Sep. 24, 2018
Geraldo Rivera: "How about statehood for Puerto Rico, isn't that the only way to really fix them?"
[Editor's Note: Trump previously expressed a PRO opinion on this question. Read Trump's former position on whether Puerto Rico should be given statehood.]
Donald Trump: "Nobody's mentioned that recently to me. Nobody's mentioned it recently. I will tell you this, with the mayor of San Juan as bad as she is, and as incompetent as she is, Puerto Rico shouldn't be talking about statehood until they get some people that really know what they're doing... And if you have good leadership, Geraldo, that certainly could be something they talk about. But with people like that involved in Puerto Rico, I would be an absolute no."
Source: FactBase Videos, "Interview: Geraldo Rivera Interviews Donald Trump on Geraldo in Cleveland - September 24, 2018," youtube.com, Sep. 24, 2018
Not Clearly Pro or Con
"Rebuilding also means confronting some hard truths about Washington’s legacy on the island. We must own past shortcomings and embrace a future of strength for Puerto Rico, with fair and equitable ties to Washington. I will engage Puerto Ricans — including representatives of every status option — in a process of self-determination, listening and developing federal legislation that outlines a fair path forward. Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans throughout our nation make the United States strong."
Source: Joe Biden, "Joe Biden: Puerto Rico Deserves More Respect than Donald Trump Has Given / Commentary," joebiden.com, Dec. 5, 2019
Not Clearly Pro or Con
"The status of Puerto Rico is for the Puerto Rican people to decide. The president should not interfere in self-determination by the people of any country.
What the president should do is encourage a fair process for Puerto Ricans to determine their status that is accepted by all parties in Puerto Rico so the referendum is seen as legitimate by the people of Puerto Rico, which has not been the case in the five previous referendums."
Source: Howie Hawkins, "Latinx Caucus of the Green Party of the United States Presidential Candidates Questionnaire," howiehawkins.us (accessed June 24, 2020)
No position found as of Aug. 26, 2020.
[Editor's Note: The Jorgensen campaign declined to answer this question.]