People protest against the referendum for Puerto Rico political status in San Juan, on June 11, 2017.
To become a true US state, to choose independence or to maintain the status quo: Puerto Ricans went to the polls to consider their political future in a non-binding referendum many have vowed to boycott.

People protest against the referendum for Puerto Rico political status in San Juan, on June 11, 2017. To become a true US state, to choose independence or to maintain the status quo: Puerto Ricans went to the polls to consider their political future in a non-binding referendum many have vowed to boycott.

Puerto Ricans are American citizens, without all the benefits of folks from the mainland. The island recently voted in favor of lobbying the U.S. government for statehood, though less than a third of the population cast ballots.

The U.S. territory faces a crushing debt, one that would be easier to resolve if it was a state. So why the low turnout? And should America treat Puerto Rico like a state, or a colony?

Guests

  • Julio Ricardo Varela Co-host, "In The Thick"; contributor, Latino USA
  • Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan Associate counsel, Latino Justice PRLDEF; president, National Lawyers Guild
  • Charles Venator-Santiago Associate professor, Department of Political Science; University of Connecticut
  • Rafael Cox Alomar Assistant professor of law, University of the District of Columbia

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