Agreements between Puerto Rico and DR generate jealousy
San Juan, Puerto Rico. The bilateral agreements signed by Dominican President Danilo Medina and the Governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, have given rise to a wave of expressions of surprise and jealousy among Puerto Rican citizens, which overflowed on the social networks manifesting strong criticisms against the governor and the extent of the bilateral cooperation.
Many Puerto Ricans are jealous because of the scholarships that exclusively benefit Dominican students – both undergraduate and graduate – registered in higher education institutions in Puerto Rico, for which each government will provide a contribution of US$250,000.
Likewise they question the program for teaching English for professors in the Dominican Republic. The dissident opinions alleged that the scholarship fund would not benefit low income Puerto Rican students, and they are setting to one side hundreds of Puerto Rican teachers that do not know the English language and that need to be trained.
The complaints are the order of the day on the radio programs with the greatest audience, which since last Tuesday dedicate a large part of their spaces to express the opinions of citizens and analyze different aspects of the agreements, including the promise of the right to vote for immigrants located in Puerto Rico, no matter their immigration status, which has generated great arguments and wounded many sensibilities.
Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla, surprised many as he announced, in the presence of President Danilo Medina, that he would present legislation to allow the immigrants that reside in Puerto Rico, to vote in the elections, no matter their immigration status.”
“In this country we will all vote,” stated Garcia Padilla before a full auditorium in the Puerto Rico Convention Center, where the agreements were signed, cataloging as “discrimination” the denial of the right to vote to a person because of his immigration status, one marginalization that, according to what he said, “that was also suffered by blacks, the poor, women and was not absent in all ages from those who justified inequality.”
However this promise has been interpreted by many as excessive and in violation of the constitutional dispositions because it does not have congressional approval, besides being a political ploy to bring himself closer to the Dominican vote in the face of a possible play for reelection.
The leader of the New Progressive Party (PNP), Zoe Laboy, reacted surprised over the lack of clarity of Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla in his promise to the foreign community residing in Puerto Rico, and in which the Dominicans represent a majority.
“The governor is being irresponsible in order to ingratiate himself with the Dominican community on the island and he is missing the truth,” she said.
She said that “if Governor Garcia Padilla manages to obtain a permit to vote for these foreign brothers and sisters, he is putting them in a extremely dangerous situation if they decide to try and obtain American citizenship.”
She explained that the request for naturalization of the United States of America clearly asks the applicant if at some moment he has registered or if he has voted in any federal, state, or local election in the United States. “If the applicant answers yes, this could result in the denial of his application for citizenship,” stressed Laboy.
Social networks heat up
The chat rooms are the scenario for many Puerto Ricans to vent. The commentaries go from “wine red”, and overflow the digital platforms of the principal media outlets. The expressions fill the chat rooms of periodicals such as El Nuevo Dia, Primera Hora and El Vocero de Puerto Rico, many of them with xenophobic suggestions.
“We now have one million of undesirable Dominicans on our land, who brazenly plant their flag and benefit from us,” sentenced Puerto Rican Luis Beltran.
Immediately user José Victor, registered in the chat room of El Nuevo Dia, suggested that the governor “wants to replace the 200,000 Puerto Ricans that have immigrated to the United States, with 200,000 Dominicans.”
“How cute, scholarships for Dominican students paid for by Puerto Rican taxpayers,” complained Vivian 342. Another user pointed out: “Then English classes for Dominican professors with our schools lacking teachers.”
“Money for the Dominicans, and more taxes for us. To be Puerto Rican doesn’t mean anything for the governor,” said Lady 2013. And the user “borcuaAlzao” said that instead of financing and more benefits, “what is lacking is that federal officials should go into Santurce and deport all of the illegals en masse.”
The insults and the xenophobic name-calling against Dominican immigrants are abundant on the exchanges in the chat rooms.
Category: DR News |