SR0165 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY


  

 


 
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SENATE RESOLUTION

 
2    WHEREAS, Chicago is home to over 150,000 Puerto Rican
3residents who are deeply concerned with and connected to
4Puerto Rico, as demonstrated by the fact that Chicago's Puerto
5Rican community was the first to send nongovernmental aid to
6the island after Hurricane Maria in 2017; and
 
7    WHEREAS, This diasporic community has long voiced support
8for Puerto Rico; today, it once again reaffirms this support,
9in recognition of international law and human rights; and
 
10    WHEREAS, Puerto Rico enters the 123rd year of U.S.
11colonization, which began with the U.S. invasion in 1898 and
12the subsequent annexation of Puerto Rico through The Treaty of
13Paris between the U.S. and Spain that year; and
 
14    WHEREAS, The U.S. Supreme Court declared, in the wake of
15the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision, that Puerto Rico belongs to
16but is not part of the United States, citing Puerto Ricans
17supposed racial inferiority and unfitness for self-rule, which
18would subsequently govern Puerto Rico through a doctrine of
19separate and unequal; and
 
20    WHEREAS, The U.S. government and corporations have
21benefited immensely from Puerto Rico's resources, labor, and

 

 

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1environment at the cost of Puerto Rican well-being and freedom
2and, as a result, fueled mass migration from the island, to
3such an extent that today the majority of Puerto Ricans live
4outside of Puerto Rico; and
 
5    WHEREAS, While Puerto Rico was granted local autonomy
6through the establishment of the Commonwealth constitution in
71952, this did not alter the colonial relationship between the
8U.S. and Puerto Rico, as the U.S. Congress retained plenary
9power over Puerto Rico; and
 
10    WHEREAS, U.S. authorities have long repressed movements
11and efforts to self-determination and have allowed non-binding
12plebiscites and referendums that have unresolved the status
13issue; and
 
14    WHEREAS, The Puerto Rican New Progressive Party, which
15advocates for Puerto Rico to become the 51st state of the
16union, has imposed the two most recent referenda in 2017 and
172020; these have been marred by partisan control, voting
18irregularities, and confusing ballot language; and
 
19    WHEREAS, Statehood proponents, such as the current
20governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, who did not win a
21majority of the vote, argue that the November 3, 2020
22referendum produced a mandate for statehood; there are

 

 

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1significant reasons to question this conclusion, including the
2fact that the referendum suffered from historic lows in
3participation, excluded non-statehood options, offered voters
4no transition plan on the consequences of the vote, and was
5widely opposed by much of Puerto Rico's civil society; and
 
6    WHEREAS, There is no mandate for statehood; there is
7consensus in Puerto Rico and throughout its diaspora that
8resolving Puerto Rico's colonial status requires a fair,
9inclusive, transparent, democratic, and binding
10self-determination process; and
 
11    WHEREAS, This type of process is outlined in the Puerto
12Rico Self-Determination Act, soon to be reintroduced by Puerto
13Rican Congresswomen Nydia Velazquez and Alexandria
14Ocasio-Cortez; and
 
15    WHEREAS, The Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act affirms
16that Puerto Ricans have the final determination on the destiny
17of Puerto Rico and proposes the formation of a constitutional
18convention of elected delegates that represent all of the
19major political status positions, including statehood, free
20association, and independence; and
 
21    WHEREAS, The Act further recommends that the Puerto Rican
22people must be provided with extensive information and

 

 

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1engagement on all non-territorial options available and what
2the real implications of those options would be, and that the
3process be led and decided by the people who are impacted, not
4by political parties or under the pressures of political
5agendas; and
 
6    WHEREAS, The act most closely corresponds with President
7Biden's pledge to "engage Puerto Ricans including
8representatives of every status option in a process of
9self-determination, listening and developing federal
10legislation that outlines a fair path forward"; and
 
11    WHEREAS, Today, the Puerto Rican community in Chicago
12joins with Puerto Ricans across the diaspora and in Puerto
13Rico to support Congresswomen Nydia Velazquez and Alexandria
14Ocasio-Cortez's Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act and calls
15for an end to the shameful colonization of Puerto Rico;
16therefore, be it
 
17    RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE ONE HUNDRED SECOND GENERAL
18ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we urge all Illinois
19legislators at all levels of government to endorse the Puerto
20Rico Self-Determination Act; and be it further
 
21    RESOLVED, That we urge the U.S. Congress to respond to
22will of Puerto Rico and to usher in a new relationship between

 

 

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1the United States and the people of Puerto Rico; and be it
2further
 
3    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
4delivered to the President of the United States, the U.S.
5Senate Majority Leader, the U.S. Senate Minority Leader, the
6U.S. Speaker of the House, the U.S. House of Representatives
7Minority Leader, and all members of the Illinois Congressional
8Delegation.