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Heinrich Joins Press Conference Urging Passage of Puerto Rico Status Act

WASHINGTON — During Puerto Rico Status Act Advocacy Week, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi and U.S. Shadow Representative Ricardo Rosselló to highlight the need for Congress to pass his Puerto Rico Status Act, legislation that lays out a process for the people of Puerto Rico to determine the future of the island’s political status. 

Puerto Rico Statehood Press Conference

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich joins Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi and U.S. Shadow Representative Ricardo Rossellóurging passage of the Puerto Rico Status Act at a press conference on April 30, 2024. 

The Puerto Rico Status Act authorizes a federally sponsored plebiscite to resolve Puerto Rico’s political status. The legislation details the transition to and implementation of a non-territory status for Puerto Rico— Statehood, Independence, or Sovereignty in Free Association with the United States—that is chosen by a majority of voters in Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rico Status Act was drafted with extensive input from members of Congress; local elected government officials; citizenship, immigration, and constitutional law experts; and hundreds of residents of Puerto Rico. 

The legislation previously passed the House of Representatives on a bipartisan basis on Dec. 15, 2022. The Biden-Harris administration endorsed the legislation with a favorable Statement of Administration Policy.   

For more pictures of the Puerto Rico Status Act press conference, click here

Heinrich’s remarksas delivered are below: 

It's great to be here today and there's no way I can articulate this any better than the governor and the former governor.

This is about equality. This is about American citizens being treated with the same level of rights and dignity, no matter where they live.

And that is fundamental and is a story that we should all be inspired by.

I was lucky enough to be elected to the House of Representatives at the same time that the now governor was elected.

As we talked about the pathway for Puerto Rico, it made me go back and look at my own state's pathway to statehood.

I realized that while the years have changed, the arguments really haven't changed...and how hard it was for New Mexico to become a state, how it needed allies from people like Senator Quay and even Teddy Roosevelt to become one of the great states of the United States.

It inspired me to get personally involved because this is about making sure that all of our citizens,who've done so much for this great country, are recognized and have the same rights no matter whether they live — in Puerto Rico or in New Mexico or New York or anywhere else.

So, what excites me about this gathering today is that we are gathering momentum thanks to all of you.

We're now up to 25 cosponsors in the Senate.That's a record-breaking number and the interest and enthusiasm is only building.

This is a moment that really matters.

Build that momentum and argue your case.

You have such great facts on your side.

You have so many amazing American citizens on your side.

Let's continue to build this momentum.

This is a bill that's already shown that it can pass the House of Representatives in a bipartisan way.

Let's make sure that in the Senate we can do the same.