Statehood for U.S. Territories

While not often discussed, the time has come for the United States to offer the status of statehood to the various U.S. territories, commonwealths, and districts around the globe.  The reason this is so important is that U.S. citizens (and U.S. Nationals) living in U.S. territories are (in most instances) denied the right to vote in U.S. elections, don’t have adequate representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, nor any form of representation in the U.S. Senate.

To this end, American Millennials supports the admission of three new states:

  • Puerto Rico
  • The District of Columbia
  • Oceanic Islands

To better understand this issue, watch this explanation of this issue recently delivered by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Puerto Rico

With a population of over 3.8 million, Puerto Rico is both the largest and most populated of America’s territories. To compare, the population of Puerto Rico is greater than that of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota and South Dakota combined. Despite this fact, U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico have been relegated to a form of second-class citizenship that does not include full voting rights, not even the ability of their representative in Congress to have a vote in matters that pertain directly to Puerto Rico.

In 2012, a referendum was held in which the majority of voting Puerto Ricans declared that Puerto Rico should discontinue its current territorial status, and become a full state within the United States of America. Since the referendum, at the request of President Obama, the United States House of Representatives voted in favor of providing $2.5 million to fund another referendum to the residents of Puerto Rico. While this vote has not yet taken place, it is expected that the vote will result in either statehood or full independence for the island commonwealth.

District of Columbia

Despite living in our nation’s capital city, and having a population greater than either Wyoming or Vermont, the citizens of the District of Columbia have never been granted adequate representation in Congress.  In protest of this lack of equal representation, many District of Columbia residents have chosen to use DC License Plates that bear the phrase “Taxation without Representation”.

Over the past several decades, there have been a number of attempts to elevate the status of the District of Columbia from being “federal district” to that of full statehood. Unfortunately, despite the overwhelming support by DC residents for full statehood, it has not yet won support in the U.S. Congress, largely due to Republican concerns that the new state would lean blue (based on current demographics and voting trends).

To learn more about this issue, watch this short video discussing the topic:

Oceanic Islands

To provide adequate representation to those U.S. citizens and nationals living in Guam, the Northern Marianas, the U. S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa, American Millennials has proposed the creation of a single state that encompasses all remaining populated territories across the globe.

The accomplishment of this goal will ensure U.S. nationals living in such territories to have their status elevated to that of full citizenship, and provide such individuals with true representation in Congress.