EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 14, 2012

Local Puerto Ricans discuss statehood for their homeland

(Continued)

Gonzalez, who emigrated 10 years ago, believes if Congress approves the statehood, it would be “a win-win” situation for both.

“This is an opportunity given to us on a silver platter and we should take advantage of it by getting organized,” Gonzalez said.

Pro-statehooders say Puerto Rico would benefit from becoming a state because it would receive an additional $20 billion a year in federal funds to boost the local economy and fight crime. The island currently has a higher unemployment rate than any U.S. state at 13.6 percent, and last year it reported a record 1,117 killings.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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