WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., recently reintroduced the Puerto Rico Status Act, legislation which would provide Puerto Ricans the full range of options for a future referendum on the island’s status as a commonwealth.
Wicker has been a longtime advocate for a fair selection process for Puerto Ricans who wish to remain a commonwealth of the United States. Other pending legislative proposals would force Puerto Ricans to abandon their current status and choose among statehood, independence, or “Sovereignty in Free Association.”
“The people of Puerto Rico deserve a voice in shaping their political destiny without being forced into a false choice between statehood or independence," Wicker said. "Pending legislative proposals from my colleagues do not acknowledge the fact that many Puerto Ricans prefer to maintain their current status and want the freedom to decide on their own terms.
"After extensive deliberations with Puerto Rican leaders, I have proposed an alternative plan that avoids favoring any particular outcome, is consistent with guidance from the Department of Justice, and empowers Puerto Ricans to determine their future through a fair and democratic vote. "
Among other provisions, Wicker’s legislation would authorize a binding plebiscite vote on four options: independence for Puerto Rico, sovereignty in free association with the United States, statehood, or retaining the status of Puerto Rico as a Commonwealth.
Read the full text of the bill here.