Floor Speech: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of U.S. Citizenship for the People of Puerto Rico
A century ago today, a federal law granted U.S. citizenship to individuals born in Puerto Rico.
Island residents have made countless contributions to this country in times of peace and war, serving with exceptional valor in our armed forces.
The bonds between Puerto Rico and Florida are unbreakable. The state is home to over one million Puerto Ricans, with most living in central Florida.
Puerto Rico is going through difficult times, and I am determined to help the island get back on its feet.
The main reason Puerto Rico is struggling is because, as a territory, it is treated unequally under federal law.
I support equal treatment for Puerto Rico because I oppose second-class citizenship.
Ultimately, I believe Puerto Rico should discard its territory status and become a state or a sovereign nation.
The choice lies with the people of Puerto Rico.
My personal hope is that they will choose statehood, so they have full voting rights and full equality.
Puerto Ricans have earned the right to become first-class citizens of the nation they have served with honor.