One explanation for this dishonest scheme to create a new state is political pandering to the Hispanic vote, yet not only the Hispanics but even the Puerto Ricans are very divided on statehood. The most prominent Hispanic member of Congress, Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and one of the most prominent Puerto Ricans in Congress, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., voted no on the statehood bill.
The whole idea of allowing Puerto Rico to decide to become our 51st state is offensive to our constitutional government. We the people of the United States are the only ones to decide whether or not to accept a new state as one of our United States.
A major reason why the American people do not want to accept Puerto Rico as a state is that this would overnight make the United States a bilingual nation because Puerto Rico will not accept English as its official language. Many U.S. pro-English laws and customs make it is clear that the American people do not want to be a bilingual country.
Puerto Rican legislative and judicial proceedings are conducted entirely in Spanish, with English translations available only on request. It is asking for big trouble to admit a state when at least half of its people voted against becoming a state, and most of its residents won't accept English as their official language.
We need only look as far away as Canada to see what happens to a country trying to cope with two languages. In 1995, a proposal for French-speaking Quebec to secede from Canada failed on a referendum by only one-half of one percent with a 92 percent turnout.
Are you concerned about our current Congress spending too much money? Accepting Puerto Rico as a state would vastly increase federal spending for entitlements because 45 percent live below the poverty level and would immediately become eligible for Barack Obama's "spread the wealth" policies of transferring money from U.S. taxpayers to non-taxpayers.
It made no sense at all for Republicans to vote for this Puerto Rican bill because statehood would mean adding two senators and at least six House members, and they would all be Democrats. Puerto Rico would then have more members of Congress than 24 of our 50 states.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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