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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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,...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More