If you’ve been paying attention to American politics for the last few years, you’ve probably heard about granting statehood to our territories abroad.
These territories, (being Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marina Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S Virgin Islands) have long been excluded from American politics (the oldest being Puerto Rico and Guam which were both acquired in 1898). Meaning that our oldest inhabited territories are 123 years old. These territories have been without federal funding, representation in Congress, or benefits such as tax credits as well as Medicare and Medicaid.
So why haven’t we brought them into the Union?
Originally, the answer would be racism. Historically speaking, the United States government will only admit a territory if it has a majority white population (such as the New Mexico territory, which was not admitted until citizens of whiter states moved in). While this is no longer the case, it does help explain why we’ve kept them for so long. With the Left supporting statehood and the right opposing it (claiming it’s a power grab by the democrats). It is unclear why we currently are not allowing these places to be treated as parts of America.
You might be asking what are the benefits of adding these new states?
Benefits for the territories include representation, social benefits, federal funding, and a better economy. However, the theoretical states aren’t the only ones that benefit. The Federal Government would be able to collect income tax and use it to better the lives of all Americans, mainland or not. On another note, the only major disadvantage “according to pr51st.com a website that supports the Puerto Rico statehood movement, the only major disadvantages are the US is responsible for the island financial issues, and Puerto Ricans not enjoying their special place in the Olympics
With benefits to both the Federal and territorial governments, there isn’t a reason not to. After several referendums in Puerto Rico (who spearheads the Statehood movement) a majority of people want to be accepted into the Union, and we should give them the representation they deserve. If our government is truly for the people, then it should do its primary purpose, protecting the rights of all Americans
By @.centristpolitics on TikTok