LULAC Demands The US Congress To Approve Statehood For Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico (July 27, 2022) The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), today demanded that the United States Congress approve the project that is currently in Congress in Washington, DC.
“Piecemeal legislative efforts help, but they are not enough, and they are not a permanent solution. Statehood would provide the necessary stability for long-term planning, recovery, and sustainable development,” said the organization's CEO, Sindy Benavides, who gave details at a press conference on the issues being discussing at the LULAC annual convention taking place from July 25 to 30, 2022, at the Puerto Rico Convention Center.
Similarly, Benavides said that under the current territory status, more than 3.2 million US citizens in Puerto Rico are treated unequally under various federal laws and programs, resulting in lower economic performance, lower federal investments on the island and inferior quality of life for its residents.
The CEO of LULAC emphasized that “despite the beautiful cultural heritage of the island, it would be an injustice not to recognize the current struggles that exist. For Latinos and for LULAC, staying on the sidelines of an injustice against Latinos – whether they are from the mainland or from the island – is not an option. And especially in the case of Puerto Ricans on the island who continue to fight for equality and basic civil rights as the Americans they are.”
To this end, Benavides recalled that the members of LULAC in 2018 approved a resolution to advocate for the statehood of Puerto Rico, which was put to a vote and was favored by the National Assembly at that year’s convention.
Regarding the referendums that have been held on the island on status, she highlighted the fact that Puerto Ricans have also given their support to statehood. She explained that in the last three referendums that have been held, statehood has been the option that has been favored. Another issue that is being analyzed in the convention is the prevention of violence by weapons. “There are no words that explain how devastating the Uvalde school massacre was. It's unfathomable how these 4th grade Hispanic students and their teachers passed away. The outrage we feel is even greater knowing that the response of the officers present was inadequate and caused even more deaths.”
Regarding LGBTQ+ intersectionality and impact, Benavides highlights that LULAC continues to fight against anti-trans laws in Texas, and the "Don't Say Gay" laws in Texas and Florida. She also said that the organization has continued to work to support LGBTQ+ Latino seniors and youth, many of whom are members of LULAC.
Regarding public education, Benavides announced that the convention will feature US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona as their keynote speaker, and they will also have the participation of the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten.
Similarly, they will touch on the conditions that affect Latino military veterans and active-duty military personnel.
“Many of you are familiar with LULAC's successful legislative work with the passage of the 'I am Vanessa Guillén' law and the 'Brandon Law' to protect our military,” Benavides said.
Among the topics that will be discussed at the convention are immigration and voting rights, and how LULAC is directly involved in several legal cases in Texas and Iowa over voter suppression and voting rights. Likewise, LULAC will highlight issues of health, be it reproductive health or its COVID-19 campaign. Benavides pointed out that the organization has invested a significant amount of time and resources to generate confidence in the COVID vaccine through education and knocking on doors to vaccinate Latinos in their own communities.
Finally, Benavides indicated that they expect more than 15,000 LULAC members, community allies, federal, state and local government officials, and corporate partners to participate at the convention.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which celebrates its 93rd annual convention, is the largest and oldest organization that defends the civil rights of the Hispanic community. It is based on volunteer service and seeks to build strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, it is made up of councils located in 37 states and Puerto Rico. Through its programs and services, LULAC provides solutions to the most important problems for Hispanics today and lays the foundation for a better future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/