A Puerto Rican Reader Objects To The Term "Migrant" For American Citizens From Puerto Rico—We Explain

Re: James Fulford's article Michael Barone’s Immigration Enthusiasm Means Never Having To Say He’s Sorry

From:  Carlos Rodriguez [e-mail him]

Barone gets Puerto Ricans wrong and, in arguing him, so did James Fulford.

Puerto Ricans do not "migrate" as they are American Citizens.  They "circulate" within the US and its territory.

 By keeping these voting Hispanics in the same group as illegals, we are essentially letting them become sympathizers of illegals.  It would be better to draw in those who can vote to keep out those who can't.

Carlos Rodriguez, born in the Commonwealth Of Puerto Rico, now lives in Kansas. See previous letters from Carlos Rodriguez on statehood for Puerto Rico, and on the Washington Post's dishonest journalism.

James Fulford writes: I'm well aware of the citizenship issue, and that's why I was careful the terms migrant and migrate, which are used for internal migration inside a country, rather than immigrant or emigrant, which are used for border-crossers.

These words are frequently used for movement from one state to another on the mainland, as in The Grapes Of Wrath, where the Okies migrated from Oklahoma to California, or in the post-war Great Migration of blacks from the South to the Northeast.

I agree that Puerto Ricans, as Americans, should not sympathize too much with Mexicans who compete directly with them for jobs, and I note that on the level of the New York State, they don't. See  A Surging Mexican Population Creates New Rifts, Rivalries for Hispanic Groups By Eduardo Porter, The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2001.

Unfortunately, at the level of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, and Puerto Rican politicians on the mainland (honourable exception: Herman Badillo) they do. But that's not our fault.