Mayor Bill de Blasio writes with Jose Calderon, President of the Hispanic Federation, in the Daily News today that Congress must act. I agree but nowhere do they mention statehood.
More than 700,000 Puerto Ricans live in New York City today — the largest Puerto Rican community outside of the island. They are teachers and firefighters, doctors and police officers, business owners and artists. They are our fellow New Yorkers, working hard every day to help this city reach its full potential. And their contributions are undeniable….
The island is $72 billion in debt. Governor Alejandro Padillo has indicated that these debts are “unpayable.” The U.S. Treasury Department has testified that the Commonwealth is effectively out of cash. But unlike cities and states in our Union, Puerto Rico cannot avail itself of any remedies under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
It is a sympathetic piece but the reality of the situation is that statehood is the method by which the federal government can solve the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico and fix the injustice of the existing status.