As Puerto Rico Looks Toward Statehood, Puerto Ricans in North Texas Voice Their Support

Katherine Rodriguez left her home in Ponce, Puerto Rico, 25 years ago after she couldn’t find a job in engineering design. When her uncle, who lived in North Texas at that time, invited her to move in with him, Rodriguez saw it as an opportunity to get away from the unemployment crisis plaguing her native island.“Back then you couldn’t even find a job at a Burger King or a Pizza Hut,” she said. “You had to know someone to move forward. When I saw that at that time I said, ‘Mom, I have to go.’”But Rodriguez believes her life — and the lives of other Puerto Ricans — might have been easier if the U. S. island territory had been an actual state. “If Puerto Rico would have been a state, I would consider retiring there,” Rodriguez said. “The lifestyle would be totally different from what it is, or what it was from when I was home.” Many Puerto Ricans still living on the island are hoping that will happen soon. On June 11, they overwhelmingly backed — with 97 percent of the 500,000 votes cast — a referendum calling for Puerto Rican statehood.Four days later, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló called on the U.S. government to recognize the island as the 51st state during a news conference about the vote.“The U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico have taken a stand and have pleaded a choice,” Rossello said, according to a Politico report.   Continue reading...

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