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Author: Fernando Salazar

American Samoans resurrect the citizenship question

American Samoans have a complicated arrangement with the federal government of the United States. Unlike other American territories, like Guam or Puerto Rico, those who are born in American Samoa are not given citizenship upon birth. This is made possible by American Samoa’s designation as an unincorporated territory, meaning that they must go through the naturalization process if they wish to gain citizenship. Therefore, American Samoans are given the status of being called “US Nationals,” precluding their ability to vote, run for office, or serve on juriesーall while paying federal taxes. Some have expressed frustration with the current system....

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Puerto Rico not immune to electric grid foreign attacks

In the ongoing diplomatic row between the United States and Russia, which now includes the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats from the country in response to a recent nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy living in the UK, the role of hackers in the Russian interference scandal vis-à-vis Puerto Rico remains unclear. Besides the intelligence community’s consensus on the looming Russian threat on the 2018 midterm elections, there is a significant threat to the US power grid by Russian hackers. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have recently announced that Russian hackers are engaging in...

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With storm season approaching, questions swirl

Lawmakers and members of the public alike are well aware of the devastation that Hurricanes Maria and Irma wrought upon Puerto Rico and other United States territories. Despite the signs of progress, such as the restoration of electricity to 93% of Puerto Rico’s residents, there are concerns that the speed of the recovery may not be enough to put American territories in the Caribbean in a position to be able to withstand the upcoming hurricane season. Despite the recent proclamations of progress by the Army Corps of Engineers and its allies on the fight to restore Puerto Rico’s power,...

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How infrastructure reform could affect the US territories

President Donald Trump’s recently unveiled infrastructure plan has already come under significant fire from analysts for missing its total fundraising mark by over $1 trillion dollars. The plan aims to provide $200 billion in an initial federal investment in the hopes of bringing in state and local governments, as well as private investors, in order to fill the gap of nearly $1.3 trillion. The White House’s infrastructure plan entails consulting with special entities of the United States, such as tribal and territorial governments, on how best to allocate funding for infrastructure projects within their jurisdictions. The government’s proposed Transformative...

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Federal budget delivers huge victory for Jenniffer González-Colón

The two-year bipartisan budget agreement unveiled by the Democratic and Republican leaders of the United States Senate has delivered a huge victory for Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner, Jenniffer González-Colón. The deal, negotiated by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) of New York, would increase federal spending by around $400 billion and put an end to the recent partisan skirmishes over the nation’s budget. Included in this deal is a nearly $90 billion relief package to disaster-affected regions of the country, including California, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. About $7...

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  1. Martin Luther King, Jr. 90th Birthday Celebration in Atlanta

    January 18, 2019 @ 9:00 am - January 21, 2019 @ 9:00 pm EST