Even though Puerto Rico has three times voted against becoming a U.S. state, yet another effort is being made to persuade Puerto Ricans to change their mind. Of course, the Democratic Party thinks making Puerto Rico our 51st state is a cool idea because that would give the Democrats two additional U.S. Senators and 6 to 8 additional Members of the House, more congressional representation than 25 of our 50 states.
Despite millions of dollars being spent to promote statehood, on Dec. 13, 1998, Puerto Ricans voted 46.5 percent for statehood, 2.5 percent for independence, and 50.5 percent for "none of the above," which must be seen as an endorsement of its present commonwealth status.
The Puerto Rican independence faction is small, but that doesn't mean its members would acquiesce to being outvoted in a democratic election. They are among the most militant groups in the world and are responsible for domestic terrorist incidents in the United States.
The 1998 percentage of Puerto Ricans favoring statehood was approximately the same as in the 1993 referendum. It is asking for big trouble to admit a state in which nearly half the people oppose the idea.
The most important issue about Puerto Rico statehood is that it would transform the United States overnight into a bilingual nation. Puerto Ricans speak Spanish and are antagonistic to the idea of learning English.
English is the language of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. It would be divisive and troublesome to admit a state whose people don't speak the language of our founding documents.
Puerto Rican statehood would cost the U.S. plenty in taxes. The average income of Puerto Ricans is less than half that of our poorest state, and infrastructure and the environment are far below U.S. standards, so statehood would bring immediate demands for massive federal funding.
The smoking gun proving that Puerto Rico statehood is designed to make us a bilingual nation is House Concurrent Resolution 11, or English Plus Resolution, introduced by Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y.. Serrano is also the sponsor of HR 900, the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2007.
A concurrent resolution is a legislative proposal that must be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate but does not require the signature of the president and does not have the force of law. Concurrent resolutions are generally used to express the sentiment of Congress or to amend the internal rules of the House and Senate.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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