In the face of congressional inaction, it is time for the states to lead on citizen equality and make America a “more perfect union.” One way states can begin doing this is by passing legislation supporting the self-determination of all U.S. territories, and in the case of Puerto Rico — which has repeatedly voted for statehood — to support its admission into the union on equal footing with all other states. Such moral leadership from the states is essential to correcting America’s historic wrongs that have relegated those living in U.S. territories to second-class citizenship.

If the summer of 2020 taught us anything, it is that there must be no tolerance for the unequal treatment of American citizens. As the public grows in awareness of how the harsh legacies of racial inequality and injustice persist, a historic opportunity is now present.

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