Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Residents of Puerto Rico, Guam called "foreign citizens"

This article demonstrates the need for education on the status of our territories. Here is a United States congresswoman who doesn't even know that the people of Puerto Rico and Guam are U.S. citizens:

Several Guam lawmakers have asked a Republican congresswoman from Florida to apologize for referring to residents of Guam as "foreign citizens."

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., in a news release last week, referred to residents of Guam and Puerto Rico as foreign citizens, and said she opposes including the territories in a recently approved economic stimulus package since they do not pay taxes.

Guam residents pay taxes according to federal tax laws, but the money stays on Guam for use by the local government. Guam residents have been U.S. citizens since 1950 because of the federal Organic Act. The island has been a U.S. territory since 1898.

Not surprising, but it's still offensive, especially given how many people from both territories are currently serving their country honorably.

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