Statehood For Puerto Rico is a Bad Idea! E-mail
I cannot imagine a worse time for the U.S. Congress to be offering Statehood to Puerto Rico, an island mired in poverty with a shockingly high rate of unemployment and a huge number of people permanently on their welfare rolls.

Yet, here is Congress pushing new legislation to give the citizens of Puerto Rico another opportunity to cast their vote for statehood.  What are these Congressmen thinking?  That the U.S. has a shortage of people who are out of work or on welfare?   Our government is having a difficult enough time trying to take care of Americans who are struggling through this difficult economic period.   Making Puerto Rico a state would certainly not make the job any easier.

I need your help, today, to convince the Congress that this is not time to be considering inviting Puerto Rico to become our 51st state.  We simply cannot afford it!

Since 1970, at least 40 separate measures have been introduced in Congress to resolve or clarify Puerto Rico's political status.  In addition, Congress has held at least 12 hearings and four measures have received either House or Senate action.  In the 1990s alone, Puerto Rico held two separate referenda, in 1993 and 1998.  When was the last time you were asked if you wanted Puerto Rico to become a state?  Forty separate measures in Congress; referenda for Puerto Ricans every few years; but never, not once, have the American people been asked if we want Puerto Rico to become a state.

Representative Alan Grayson, one of the pro-statehooders testifying at the June 24th full committee hearing was condemning the U.S., stating "Since 1898, residents of Puerto Rico have been deprived of full and equal political representation... That is deeply, deeply unfair."   What's unfair Representative Grayson? That the citizens of Puerto Rico have only had multiple times to elect statehood or independence?  Or that the American people, including your constituents, have NEVER had the opportunity to express their opinion on statehood for Puerto Rico.  Or, that the hearings were a sham comprised primarily of sponsors or supporters of H.R. 2499 and those who opposed statehood were not even allowed to testify!  That's unfair to the American people.
Grayson is one of those Congressmen who think Puerto Rico ought to have SIX Representatives and TWO Senators in our Congress.  Doesn't he realize that their only purpose would be to write bills to drain our Treasury to supply Puerto Rico with even more benefits than they already have?  

Undaunted, English First offered its Testimony in writing to the Committee.  Our testimony raised the questions that needed to be raised at the hearings, including the fact that Americans, by huge margins, favor making English the official language of the United States. This issue must be addressed when discussing Puerto Rican statehood since Puerto Ricans, previously, have fiercely defended their right to make Spanish their official language. 

Our government seems willing to allow Puerto Rico to become a state with absolutely no preconditions.  This goes against multiple decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court that conditions on statehood must be determined BEFORE admittance to the union.

Both the American people AND the citizens of Puerto Rico deserve to know all the facts BEFORE any effort is made to allow yet another opportunity for Puerto Rico to become a state.  People need to know how many Representatives the new state would have and whether their own state may lose representation as a result of Puerto Rican statehood.

Our Congressional Budget Office should be informing us how much statehood could cost American taxpayers over what it is already costing us to retain Puerto Rico as a Commonwealth.  I believe that if these facts were known to the American people, there would arise a groundswell of opposition to statehood as well as anger against those politicians who continue to raise the idea of statehood as if it were something of benefit to our country.  But the first step is to stop H.R. 2499, the bill that begins a major effort by politicians here and in Puerto Rico to try to convince the citizens of Puerto Rico to vote for statehood.

That is why I am asking you to send an email to your representative asking him or her to vote against H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009.  H.R. 2499 was recently voted out of the House Committee on Natural Resources, so your help is needed to defeat this bill when it comes up before the entire House for a vote.


Then, please try to send whatever your can safely afford to our campaign against statehood for Puerto Rico.  Consider it an investment in your future, because if Puerto Rico becomes our 51st state, this difficult economic period we are currently in could go on for many more years!

I recognize that this economic downturn has forced all of us to tighten our belts.  In fact, before this recession ends, there will be fewer groups like ours representing the people's interests in Washington.  If you think that English First does a good job of representing your interests, I urge you to try to make a Contribution, in any amount, so we can continue to perform at the high levels you are accustomed to.

 Thank you again for your continued support. 

        Frank McGlynn
        Acting Executive Director

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