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Dick Thornburgh QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
1998 is the centennial of United States sovereignty and nationality in Puerto Rico.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
After one hundred years of federal rule, the United States House of Representatives has moved to provide for the first meaningful route to self-determination for the Puerto Rican people under our federal system.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Apparently tired of waiting for clear direction from Congress, the people of Puerto Rico have used the tools provided by their own local constitution to schedule a vote for Dec. 13 on the status of the island.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
As the highest ranking American official in the United Nations organization, I came to understand thoroughly that the national constitutional processes of the member states define the status of territories under their sovereignty.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Conferral of citizenship by statute is a matter of policy, not a legally protected right, and Congress has the discretion to alter or terminate any such statutory policy.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
During a recent visit to Puerto Rico, my conversations with island residents convinced me that the misconceptions which have encumbered Puerto Rico in its quest for complete decolonization finally are being dispelled.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Even if full equality and democracy can be delayed, the truth about Puerto Rico's real choices can not be obscured forever.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Federal program and services outlay in Puerto Rico is approximately $10 billion per year.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
However, the sovereignty of the states is constitutionally defined and recognized, while the powers of the local government in Puerto Rico are defined by, and subject to alteration under, federal statutory law.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
If Congress does its job in this regard, the residents of Puerto Rico will be empowered to act in their own self-interest and express their future political status aspirations accordingly.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
If U.S. national sovereignty continues, it is only as a state that Puerto Rico will have permanent 10th Amendment powers over its non-federal affairs, as well as voting power in Congress.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
In historical and constitutional terms, the recent political status vote in Puerto Rico was a necessary but obviously not decisive step on the road of self-determination leading to full self-government.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Instead of generating either unnecessary alarm or a false sense of security regarding these fundamental issues, the best course is to empower people with the truth.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Internal self-government under a local constitution was authorized by Congress and approved by the residents in 1952, but federal law is supreme in Puerto Rico and residents do not have voting representation in the Congress.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
It is quite understandable that Puerto Ricans seek to preserve a cultural sense of identity without separating politically from U.S. national sovereignty.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
It should be noted, though, that under commonwealth status Congress has greater discretion to regulate Puerto Rico 's affairs by federal law (e.g., current or additional English language requirements) than if Puerto Rico was a state.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Now that the there is a path for the people of Puerto Rico to express their self-determination on Puerto Rico's political status, there are some who seek to block that path.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Puerto Ricans have served with valor in every war this century, but do not vote for their President and Commander-In-Chief.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Rather, Puerto Rico is a political subdivision of the United States with no constitutionally defined sovereignty.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Since 1789 Congress has resolved the status of 33 large and populous territories in favor of separate nationhood or statehood.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Specifically, the reservation of sovereignty to the people of the states in matters not governed by federal law is constitutionally defined and permanently enshrined in the 10th Amendment.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
That is why, with optimism instead of fear, all those who want to see Puerto Rico's status resolved should seek the truth about each option, including the upside and the downside of each.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
The capacity of the commonwealth government created under the local constitution to exercise governmental powers in local affairs is like that of local government in the states of the union in regard to non-federal affairs at the local level.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
The need for a permanent status resolution approved by Congress is made even more clear to me because of my experience as a former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
The political status legislation which emerged in Congress in 1990 and 1991 did not receive the support needed for enactment into law during my tenure as Attorney General.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
The powers of government exercised locally derive from a federal law authorizing government by consent in local affairs only, unless those affairs are otherwise governed by federal law.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Yet, individuals and corporations in Puerto Rico pay no federal income tax.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh
Yet, Puerto Rico's economic convergence and political integration with the rest of the nation is in a state of arrest - even though the island has been within the national borders, political system and customs territory of the U.S. for a century.
Quotation of Dick Thornburgh