Puerto Rico House to investigate socioeconomic profile of those who left after Hurricane María
SAN JUAN – New Progressive Party (NPP) Rep. Maricarmen Mas Rodríguez has filed a resolution that seeks to investigate the economic, social and demographic effects the outmigration of residents from Puerto Rico’s western region to the U.S. mainland has had after Hurricane María hit the island.
“The loss of inhabitants in our Island is a reality we must address with haste. According to the most recent census, in 2015 some 89,000 inhabitants moved to the United States. In the 10-year period between 2006 and 2015, it is estimated that approximately 445,000 people emigrated. The passage of Hurricane María has had the effect of accelerating the migration process of Puerto Ricans to the United States. It is estimated that around 100,000 people left their homeland from September to mid-November,” the lawmaker said in a written statement.
“The House deems it necessary to study with seriousness, objectivity and meticulousness the social and economic repercussions of the massive migration that we as a society are experiencing, so that we can adopt a government plan that adapts to the new reality of the country. In order to facilitate the study, we must obtain from the Demographic Registry the specific and pertinent data related to the people who have left the Island after María’s passage,” Mas Rodríguez added.
The legislator understands that “the mere possession of U.S. citizenship means that Puerto Ricans do not need any permission to settle in any of the continental states. For this reason, and due to the uncertainty experienced after the onslaught of Hurricane María, it is easy to understand the unprecedented population exodus that is occurring. However, it is essential that we know exactly the number of inhabitants we have lost and the demographic profile they comprise.”