There are more Puerto Ricans living and working in the United States then there are on the Caribbean Island. Puerto Rico being a Territory, is a Beautiful island of the caribbean. A recent poll found that 47 percent of Americans are not aware that Puerto Rico is apart of America, the island is stuck between independence and statehood. The main issue is Puerto rico being part of the United States but not considered an actual state. Citizens can convince congress to make this happen because they are the only body that can approve new states. I chose this topic because I could relate to it the most. My family is from Puerto Rico and I have visited there many times. Puerto ricans by birth have American Citizenship and can move freely between the island and the mainland, but Puerto Rico is not officially a state. The citizens are not allowed to vote for the President of the United States. Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States is the smallest and most easterly of the greater antilles, which screen the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean ( Puerto Rico 3). Both spanish and english are the official languages (Puerto Rico). Spanish is dominant, English is required as a second language in the schools. A significant amount of Puerto Ricans follow the Roman-Catholic religion. Puerto Rico was found by Christopher Columbus in 1493(Puerto Rico). Originally they called the island San Juan Bautista, until gold was found in the river, then it became known as Puerto Rico or “rich-port”. The island was mainly looked at as an important military outpost. The territory produced cattle, sugar cane, coffee, and tobacco which then led to african slaves to be imported (M.Walsh). This caused the bloodline to be mixed with Spanish, African, and indigenous taino. Over the years there have been numerous attempts to take the island. At the time the island was an overseas province of Spain, until the Spanish- American war in 1898. In 1998 the Treaty of Paris granted the US independence from the war that was going on at the time, Puerto Rico was basically handed over to the United States. The lower in class started to attack spanish businesses because they were promised life, liberty and happiness. however the americans did not keep their promises, because after they won they ignored the Treaty of Paris and made Puerto Rico a territory. For more than four hundred years, the island’s economy was based almost exclusively on sugar. Since 1956 there has been an increase in the hotel building industry, to expand the tourist economy there. More than 3.6 million tourists visit Puerto Rico annually (E.Louis). Puerto Rico’s government has a huge affect on how the U.S government see’s Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is self governed through a local constitution that was approved by congress in 1952 (does trump). Citizens there can elect their own Governor, Assembly and Senate. Puerto Ricans by birth have american citizenship and can move freely between the island and the U.S mainland. However unlike Hawaii, Puerto Rico is not a state. The citizens can’t vote for the president of the United states. In 1917, Puerto Ricans became US citizens under the Jones Act, this way the U.S could deploy them as troops during World War 1. The jones act was signed by President Wilson in 1917. The government at the time thought that the white ethnicity weren’t suited to fight in tropical climates because they don’t have immunity to diseases found there. The act granted citizenship to anyone born in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has no real representation in congress. They have been only able to elect a nonvoting “resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico” to the house of representatives. Puerto Ricans have desired independence for the island throughout the 20th century.Getting congress to make Puerto Rico a state isn’t the only problem. The island has been dealing with debt for more than 11 years. In September 2017, economic problems worsened with the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria. Because of the hurricane Puerto Rico’s debt skyrocketed 70 billion. The U.S disrupted Puerto rico’s coffee industry, making a sugar economy and creating massive poverty in the population. Puerto Ricans were lost after the war. Instead of becoming citizens, they did not even have a passport. Since 2006, Puerto rico has been in painful recession. In 2016, the island effectively ran out of cash, they are in the debt of 123 billion and pension obligations, which is money needed to give to retired employees and salary increases for current employees. Puerto Rico owes billions to retired workers. The only reason there debt has skyrocketed was because of their failing economy and insufficient government that has spent more than they needed to throughout the years. Most of the borrowing comes from bonds. How did their debt get so bad? In 1917, congress passed a law making Puerto rico citizens of the U.S. The law empowered the island to raise money by issuing tax-exempt bonds. Using these bonds they have built up a big enough debt to crash the island. Because the island had a massive hurricane ,it caused a lot of damage to the island, as I said earlier. There economic problems worsened which didn’t help the island at all as they were already in debt. The impact of Hurricane Maria will require extensive rebuilding. Hurricane Maria was a 50 mile tornado that hit the island at the direct speed. As I said earlier in this paper, Puerto Rico is known for its lush beaches and tropical rainforests. Due to this hurricane the rate for tourism would go down and that’s what they are known for as well. The damage that was estimated ranging between 30 billion to 95 billion. It had a huge economic toll on the island. When Hurricane Maria hit 60,000 people were still left without electricity (does trump 1). That means that there have been a lot of people without electricity for a whole month. Before hurricane Maria , Hurricane Irma Came and caused further damage. And our President, Donald Trump came to the island and did not even realize that Puerto Rico was part of the U.S. The President tweeted, “but puerto rico , which was already suffering from broken infrastructure and massive debt.” He was trying to say that Puerto Rico was already in trouble with their debt and that he should not care because they have caused the United States to look bad because of the debt. If Puerto Rico became a state years ago when they were first handed over to the UNited states then events that shaped our history would have changed. If the island became a state it would change our everyday lives, thus changing the government and the society as a whole. If Puerto Rico had become a state our current President, Donald Trump wouldn’t be president. We would have seven electoral college votes, by population. Puerto Rico would be the 51st state and we would have to change our flag and put 51 stars instead of 50. Al Gore would have beaten George W. Bush 273 to 271 (Does Trump 1). There wouldn’t have been a war in iraq and that would mean no domino effect from that event. Lastly, the Florida population would have an effect because a lot of Puerto ricans have been moving their families there to live in Tampa Bay specifically. Alaska and Hawaii are much like Puerto Rico. Hawaii and Alaska both used to be a U.S territory until they both became a state. Hawaii became a U.S territory the same time that Puerto Rico did but Hawaii left Puerto Rico behind becoming a state in 1959. The difference between Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico are their populations. Alaska has a bigger population so that means that there are more votes going toward making them a state. But with Puerto Rico, it’s a small island and not that many people live there compared to Alaska so it’s gonna take more time for Puerto Rico to convince congress for them to become a state. Puerto Rico would need the majority of the island to vote towards them becoming a state and having the majority of political support from movements.Recently Puerto Ricans have voted on a recent referendum on November 6 ,2012. A referendum is an election where a law could either be accepted or rejected based on the popular vote of the people. Almost 54 percent of Puerto Ricans voters supported a non-binding referendum to become a U.S state (B.Little 2). If Puerto Rico gains the right to start voting in all U.S elections they would have to start paying federal taxes, and congress has not acted on that at all (Puerto Rico 4). Some government politicians say that it would not be until many years when Puerto Rico will become a state. This year before the Hurricane happened , in June, 97 percent chose to become the 51st state. The current government has ignored that knife- edge result. America owns Puerto Rico without feeling obligated to pay its bills. Puerto Rico basically has its own constitution, their own governor , Don’t vote in the US congress, Can vote in presidential primary elections, but not in presidential elections , Are natural born US citizens, and only pay federal income tax on work done within the United States. Puerto Rican citizens can only change this if congress acts on it but if they just ignore their petition It is going to take longer. They have to have the support of government officials to be on their side and support their argument.Overall, most Americans are not aware that Puerto Rico is part of the United States, the island is dealing with having independence and becoming a state. Puerto Rican citizens can convince congress to constitute the territory because they are the only body that can approve new states. Puerto Rico is one of the most visited islands and I think that they should get the privilege to become a state just like Hawaii and Alaska because it is considered part of the United States.