Category: Status Report

The Jones–Shafroth Act

The Jones–Shafroth Act (1917) was a 1917 Act of the United States Congress by which,  Puerto  Ricans  were collectively made U.S. citizens, the people of Puerto Rico were empowered to have a popularly-elected Senate, established a bill of rights, and authorized the election of a Resident Commissioner to a four year term. Also known as the “Jones Act of Puerto Rico” or “Jones Law of Puerto Rico”, it amended the “Organic Act of Puerto Rico” created by the Foraker Act of 1900. (This “Jones Act” applies only to Puerto Rico.) The act was signed into law by President Woodrow...

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Foraker Act

The Foraker Act, officially known as the Organic act of 1900 was signed into law on April 2, 1900 by U.S. President McKinley.   This law was called the Foraker Act because of the bills’ sponsor (Joseph Benson Foraker) a statesman from Ohio. This new law established civilian government on the island of Puerto Rico, which had been acquired by the United States after the Spanish-American War. The new government had a governor and an executive council appointed by the President of the United States,  a House of Representatives with 35 elected members,  a judicial system with a Supreme Court...

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Puerto Rico Deserves Justice from the U.S. Government

Rep. Steven Rothman | Posted: May 17, 2010 12:20 AM The injustice toward the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico must end. Vieques is a small island off the south east coast of Puerto Rico that was used as a bombing range by the U.S. Navy from World War II until 2003. The munitions used in and around Vieques contained toxins that have affected the health of the residents. Yet in 2003, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) issued a report that said that the levels posed no health risk. The conclusions in this report strain credibility,...

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Puerto Rico’s Government Agrees to Delay Birth Certificate Law

LatinoJustice PRLDEF has been informed by representatives of the Puerto Rico government that it will extend the validity of all island-issued birth certificates through the end of September, creating a three month transition period while officials begin issuing new certificates July 1. In December 2009, the Puerto Rico legislature passed a law stating that all birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 would have to be replaced, in effect invalidating the birth records of millions of island and U.S. mainland residents. LatinoJustice PRLDEF President and General Counsel Cesar A. Perales sent a letter to the governor pointing to numerous...

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White House asked to Clarify Stance on ‘Enhanced’ Commonwealth

by Robert Friedman | Puerto Rico Daily Sun The Senate committee weighing the latest island status bill has moved to determine the views of the Obama White House on the constitutionality of an “enhanced” U.S.-Puerto Rico commonwealth relationship. In a letter addressed to the president, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and ranking member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. have asked if the White House stands by a 2001 U.S. Justice Department analysis of the island’s status options, which found the so-called “new Commonwealth” unconstitutional. That finding has been the principal thorn in the side of those...

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