Liberals have an uncanny ability to convince certain groups they are being oppressed based off emotionally charged debunked information.
In an effort to appeal to Puerto Ricans, Democrats accuse the Trump White House and other Republicans of not recognizing Puerto Ricans as Americans, but in doing so pull island residents into their own world of victim politics, thereby comparing them to illegal immigrants.
Former Vice President Joe Biden repeated this mantra on a campaign stop in Concord, New Hampshire Tuesday when he discussed the $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that passed Congress earlier in the week.
Puerto Rico will receive $900 million worth of block grants and nutrition assistance, but Biden excoriated the administration because Trump opposed sending more money and wanted more funds sent to the U.S. southern border.
Puerto Rico is not a state so it does not carry a certain number of electoral votes and does not have voting members representing it in Congress
“It’s shameful, the way we treated Puerto Rico and the islands,” Biden said to several hundred people Politico reported. “I’m not even sure people in the president’s administration knew Puerto Ricans are all citizens.”
Biden continued, “I’m not joking. And so, there’s this notion of somehow, why should we have to make and invest that kind of money in dealing with what is a genuine existential crisis?”
Trump defended the amount allocated for Puerto Rico saying that island officials were “grossly incompetent” with previous relief funds dispersed to them.
Often, Hurricane Maria is associated with 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico. It should be noted that most of those deaths happened weeks or months after Maria made landfall.
The island’s already fragile infrastructure, thanks to decades of mismanagement and corruption by the island’s own bureaucratic government and power authority, was knocked out by the hurricane. This caused residents to go without power, reliable roads, gas or clean water for months.
By May 31, 2018, the Associated Press reported that even after $3.8 billion was sunk into restoring the island’s electrical grid, the job was not done to ensure that the island could withstand another hurricane similar to Maria.
“It’s a highly fragile and vulnerable system that really could suffer worse damage than it suffered from Maria in the face of another natural catastrophe,” Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello said.
The island’s power authority’s over $9 billion debt after declaring bankruptcy in 2017 did not help matters either.
According to the AP, one power authority worker claimed the patchwork job that was done immediately following the hurricane was “defective.”
“We patched things up. We worked with the little material that was available and we recycled material. We took the 1,000 feet of wire that were on the ground and we strung it up in another area,” the power authority worker said to the AP. “We took the post that had fallen over or broken and we put it up somewhere else. A lot of the work is defective.”
More recently, Cate Long, who leads a research service for Puerto Rico bondholders, reports that the island’s government money “breached $7 billion as of May 24, 2019. Note PR has this level of cash after cutting taxes in January. The first public entity I’m aware of that cut taxes and expects creditors to take losses.”
Puerto Rico’s money troubles go back far beyond the Trump administration and much of it is self-inflicted from years-worth of borrowing from others while promising present and future workers government pensions.
Should it be a surprise the president is reluctant to continue to heap funds on to an island that is not known to be financially responsible for the past several decades?
It is not terribly difficult to learn that Puerto Ricans who live on the island are American citizens. They can vote for the presidential candidates in the primary, which is probably why Biden made his remark now, but cannot vote for the president in the general. Why?
Puerto Rico is not a state so it does not carry a certain number of electoral votes and does not have voting members representing it in Congress. This is why Puerto Ricans originally from the island who move to a state can vote in the general election. It works the other way as well.
If a U.S. citizen, who is a resident of any state, decides to move to Puerto Rico permanently, that individual would only be able to vote in the presidential primary but not the general.
So, can liberals please stop pulling Puerto Ricans into the illegal immigration debate?
Just because liberals do not like the dollar amount that is sent to a government that has long mishandled its own money does not mean its American island residents want to be lumped in with caravans of crowds illegally jumping our southern border.