NYT Editorial: Puerto Rica’s Second-Class Treatment on Food Aid

Published November 11, 2017 by Nan Mykel

Making yet another neighboring enemy.

Repeating Islands

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An editorial from the New York Times.

Of all Puerto Rico’s continuing miseries seven weeks after Hurricane Maria’s devastation, the most blatantly unjust is that islanders have been denied the more generous and swifter food relief distributed to storm victims this year in Texas and Florida under the emergency food stamp program.

Yes, both the island and mainland victims are United States citizens. But not all citizens are created equal: A 35-year-old congressional budget cap on Puerto Rico’s food stamp program has limited the amount of disaster aid immediately available. Texas and Florida have no such federal restraints and were able to quickly increase food stamp help in the face of the hurricane damage last summer.

It is hard to argue with Puerto Rican officials pointing to the disparity as painful evidence of a colonial second-class status suffered by citizens of this American territory, citizens who lack political clout…

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