OP-ED: The Puerto Rican Diaspora


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AL DÍA News will start a project to bring light into one of the largest migrations into continental U.S. The one from the island of Puerto Rico.

Few people know that Puerto Ricans started to immigrate into the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th Century, way before they were declared U.S. citizens by an act of congress in 1917.

Puerto Ricans were actually “undocumented” people at that time. Mrs. Gonzalez was a Puerto Rican immigrant who came to the U.S. on a ship before the declaration of Puerto Ricans as U.S. citizens and she was detained when U.S. immigration authorities in New York couldn’t classify her as a citizen or an immigrant. Her case reached the Superior Courts in New York where the case continued. It was finally taken to the U.S. congress when it was decided the people in the island of Puerto Rico caputured in a war against Spain in the 19th century could actually be U.S. citizens. The story is in A. Suarez’s book, “American Latinos.”

This is just a small yet meaningful nugget of information in one of the most under reported U.S. stories in the past 100 years.

The story of how Puerto Ricans ended up in the U.S. to the tune of millions. Today more Puerto Ricans live in the U.S. than in their island of origin. Today, as everyone knows, the island of Puerto Rico carries a burden of national debt that they are incapable of paying back.

We decided to launch one of the most exciting projects we’ve ever done connected with the largest Latino populations of the modern era in the U.S. not necessarily by their own will.

In Philadelphia, the second largest Puerto Rican settlement in the country today, we will attempt to capture this story. We will be crowdsourcing a project where we expect you to participate in making the donations that will make this story possible. That will be authentic journalism of the people for the people, and by the people.

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