The GOP Primary in Puerto Rico

Friday, March 16, 2012

Angelo Falcón, president and founder of the National Institute for Latino Policy, discusses how Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have been campaigning for Puerto Rican votes ahead of the GOP primary on Sunday. 23 delegates are at stake.


Angelo Falcon

Comments [39]

Regarding legislating an "official language":

If the United States were to pass a law making English the official language, the negative consequences could be significant. Here's the short list:

> Might it, for example, require all evidence in court to be submitted only as a translation instead of in the original language with translation suggested or attached? Think of the consequences of a bad translation on jury deliberations.

> Non-English speakers (citizens and "aliens") and those who do not have a good working knowledge of English might no longer receive documents, like Social Security statements, in their native language. Misunderstandings and complications would abound.

> Would government agencies and other civil institutions be banned from providing language translation services to clients?

> Puerto Rico would not be able to enter the Union, and probably the function of the Commonwealth's government would suffer. This would create much frustration and possibly encourage vigorous anti-United States sentiment.

We are a multilingual country, even though the one language that unites us is English. However, it's time to look at English as a language that may unify the world in commerce and diplomacy, but we should not consider it the only valid language, especially with growing multilingualism in this country and worldwide — including in Puerto Rico. To do so encourages self-righteous nationalism, a bad thing.

Mar. 17 2012 01:54 AM

People speak what they speak.It's called freedom.Santorum shows a lack of understanding about human freedom as do politicisns who pass laws mandating knowledge of english as a condition for citizenship.This arrogance and hubris of telling puerto ricans they need to learn english to be considered for statehood is akin to the arrogance of anglos getting in a huff when the french in france speak french even in the presence of anglos.how dare they!

Mar. 16 2012 02:41 PM


Mar. 16 2012 12:09 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


TERRORIST homes used to be blown up, by the British in the 1930s and by the Israelis until some years ago. I've never seen an Arab or anyone starving in ISrael. More people starve in the US than in Israel. You are just spouting a pack of lies. SOrry. that's just a fact.

Mar. 16 2012 12:01 PM

Sheldon from Brooklyn~

Psychotic disassociation can be VERY scary.


Mar. 16 2012 12:01 PM
john from office

Not anti semitic, just tired of you making every segment about Israel. We could be talking about grass and trees and you will find a way to speak about Israel.

Love Jews and Israel, tired of you.

Mar. 16 2012 12:00 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


if PUERTO RICANS in New York or Puerto RIco were firing rockets or sending their children with bombs strapped to them to blow up shopping malls, we'd see how loving and kind the AMerican response would be. If anything, Israel has been too generous and kind to its enemies. I know. I lived in Beersheba for many years, and my ex-mother in law delived 10,000 Arab babies in Soroka hospital, the first hospital the Bedouins ever knew in 3000 years in the desert of the Negev.

Mar. 16 2012 11:59 AM


The Puerto Ricans are not starved, shot and BULLDOZED to DEATH.

Not even close to being similar subjects.

Please GET A CLUE!!!

Mar. 16 2012 11:58 AM

No, jaggerbuttz, our issue is with PSYCHOTICS and Israel.

Mar. 16 2012 11:55 AM

Just to be clear my sarcasm was directed to the US's convoluted relationship with PR NOT the ABHORRENT state of APARTHEID that Israel BRUTALLY subjects the Palestinians to EVREY SINGLE DAY!!

Mar. 16 2012 11:53 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To John and Dboy

No, Jews and Israel are my main issues, and your primary issues are DENIGRATING and attacking Jews and Israel, so I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. In this case I was pointing out the hypocrisy, and showing that Puerto Rico and Palestine are very similar issues, only most Americans don't realize it. Puerto Rico came under US rule due to the Spanish American war. The West Bank and Gaza came under ISraeli rule due to the 1967 war. What to do with them has been a major issue ever since. I might add, that I know many Americans who have settled in Puerto Rico :) I guess they are "settlers" too.

Mar. 16 2012 11:53 AM

... yet another psychotic episode.


Mar. 16 2012 11:48 AM

jaggerbuttz the pedantic.

geezus, no sh*t.

1579, from L.L. sarcasmos, from Gk. sarkasmos "a sneer, jest, taunt, mockery," from sarkazein "to speak bitterly, sneer," lit. "to strip off the flesh," from sarx (gen. sarkos) "flesh," prop. "piece of meat," from PIE base *twerk- "to cut" (cf. Avestan thwares "to cut"). Sarcastic is from 1695. For
nuances of usage.

Mar. 16 2012 11:47 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

JG - to equate what dboy said with blood libel is scary.

Mar. 16 2012 11:45 AM
john from office

jgarbuz from Queens
Jesus Christ! get another issue please

Mar. 16 2012 11:45 AM
bernie from bklyn

so many myths about PR....first off, lumping all latinos into one category is such a huge mistake for both parties...."the latino vote" is like saying "the white vote". one example- puerto ricans don't care about the immigration issue as they're already citizens. in fact, they're pretty conservative about illegal immigration.

Mar. 16 2012 11:43 AM
Bob from Westchester

In watching Santorum's comments, it appeared he believes that the English language requirement for statehood is already in place. You would think that as a long time member of Congress he would know the law, but apparently he has succumbed to getting his "facts" only from conservative talk media, who either fulminate for effect or are just ignorant )like the ditzes who host the FOX morning show).

Mar. 16 2012 11:43 AM
jgarbuz from Queens


That accusation is a BLOOD LIBEL! There is no "apartheid" in Israel. To say that there is apartheid in Israel is to say there is apartheid in America because Puerto Ricans have a separate commonwealth. There is no diffence between Puerto Rico and Palestine. Both can elect their own leaders,and both can become independent as long as they don;'t threaten the US, or Israel respectively. IF Puerto Rico was allowed to have Iranian missiles on Puerto Rican soil pointed at the US, we might not allow it to become independent either.

Mar. 16 2012 11:42 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Greg - DC is fine the way it is.

Mar. 16 2012 11:42 AM
Linda from jersey shore

As a gringo homeowner in Puerto Rico, I know how seriously Puerto Ricans take election.
It's a HUGE deal down there, you can't drive anywhere without a parade, big speakers on trucks going up and down the streets, horse and cart parades etc..

Mar. 16 2012 11:39 AM
Rod Sila from Manhattan

A common language makes for a common culture, or country, or people. No way around that.

Mar. 16 2012 11:39 AM

What about Washington DC? More residents than Wyoming, but not represented by Senators or Congressmen. Talk about taxation without representation! I agree Puerto Rico should become a state- its time to clean up our relationship with the "special' situations like PR, DC and Indian nations...

Mar. 16 2012 11:38 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Santorum has proven yet again why he should never come within 20 feet of our suitcase of nuclear codes.

Mar. 16 2012 11:38 AM


It's really quite elemental; Israel should CEASE the ABHORRENT state of APARTHEID it maintains!!!

It's NOT rocket science.

Mar. 16 2012 11:36 AM
john from office

Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Because he then will emerge as what he is, a big pile of Boo Boo

Mar. 16 2012 11:36 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To dboy

I thought you knew everything? Puerto Rico was taken by the US from Spain in 1899, and was ruled as a colony until 1954 when Puerto Ricans were allowed to elect their own governors. They were given a made-up status called "Commonwealth," something that does not exist in the US Constitution. They do have the right to decide to become independent, or apply to become a state, or to remain in this ambiguous semi-autonomous status.
They are technically American citizens, but cannot vote for Congress or the Presidency, unless they come to live on the mainland. They get US social security and welfare, and can serve in the US military, but are not full citizens while living in Puerto Rico, because of the voting restrictions I mentioned. So that's basically it.

Mar. 16 2012 11:35 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

John from Office:

Santorum is indeed a dangerous guy, but with the premise that "you are what you eat," why would you want to subject the unwitting denizens of Puerto Rico to the possibility of eating him?

Mar. 16 2012 11:34 AM

Santoum is an IDIOT!!


Mar. 16 2012 11:34 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

There are so many countries with more than one recognized language (i.e., India, which has 25 official languages), that having one state or territory of the US that is predominantly Spanish-speaking should not be unthinkable. I think that Puertoriquenos probably learn English in school anyway, so what is the problem?

Mar. 16 2012 11:31 AM
John from office


Mar. 16 2012 11:31 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

What do Puerto Ricans think about the Palestinian issue? Should Palestine become part of Israel, or should it become a separate state, or should it remain like Puerto Rico, somewhere in-between?

Mar. 16 2012 11:30 AM
bernie from bklyn

the vast majority of puerto ricans don't want statehood.
and santorum's words concerning language are just ridiculous. spanish is the language of the people of PR. PR was acquired during a dubious war and the people never asked for this- they were forced into submission.

Mar. 16 2012 11:29 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

It's time for Puerto Rico to either choose to become a State or be independent. This grey area does Puerto Rico no good.

Mar. 16 2012 11:29 AM

Can someone, PLEASE explain our relationship with PR???

It's NOT a state, right?? A sovereign country...no??

Mar. 16 2012 11:28 AM
The Truth from Becky

Why not

Mar. 16 2012 11:27 AM
Sophia from UES

The language Rick Santorum used to describe his understanding of language issues in PR was disgraceful.

I wish people would stop conflating Puerto Ricans and the Spanish Speaking immigrants in this country. They ARE NOT one in the same and Mexicans are much different people. It is unfair to mix the two, we share a language but we are not the same.

Mar. 16 2012 11:26 AM
john from location

I am using Santaria on Santorum. Wishing him the best of luck. Chango is being invoked! Que viva Chango Que viva Chango

Mar. 16 2012 11:10 AM
john from office

I had hoped that Santorum would not return form PR, he would have made a good lechon or maybe filling for pastelles. Instead, he returns much like Hitler in 31. He is a dangerous guy.

Mar. 16 2012 10:58 AM

I wondered, do puerto ricans care we on the mainland treat other hispanics who immigrate to the US

Mar. 16 2012 10:26 AM

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