Editorial: On Helping Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has been a US territory since 1898, holding a lawful relationship to the U.S. before Hawaii, Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma became states. More importantly in 1917 congress passed the Jones–Shafroth Act which grants U.S Citizenship to anyone born on the island, according to USA TODAY. The people of Puerto Rico are people of America. They are civilians of our country, service members of military our since The Great War, and to abandon them in their time of need, would be to abandon our values.
Considering U.S. history with Puerto Rico, it is especially important to help them in the midst of this natural disaster. As citizens of the U.S. we should all come together and help those who need it, especially when they’re our own.
More than 44,000 Americans of Puerto Rican heritage live in Westchester County, according to County Executive Robert P. Astorino. This is why the disaster hits so close to home and why we have a responsibility to help.
Some of us have family on islands affected by Hurricane Maria and Irma. Because of that, we believe that helping any community affected is important because we have family members and friends whose homes have been destroyed. Right now, they have no power, food, or water.
The natural disaster in Puerto Rico affects us in the same way the natural disasters in Texas and Florida affected us. Those are American citizens, those are our friends and family. We have to do what is right as citizens of the U.S. and as human beings.
Due to our geographic proximity, we have the opportunity to help, to do our part in helping rebuild essential networks and provide necessary resources to people in need.
The impact we can make as a community of students, staff, and faculty is substantial. All we are required to do is to recognize the need and to fill it accordingly with the help and support of our peers, some of which have worked hard to implement a fundraising component in already existing events on campus.