American Citizenship Day

American Citizenship Day in Puerto Rico

What it is: American Citizenship Day in Puerto Rico, celebrated on March 2nd every year, commemorates the Jones-Shafroth Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917. This legislation granted U.S. citizenship to all residents of Puerto Rico born after the act’s passage.


  • Celebration: Puerto Ricans consider March 2nd a day to cherish and celebrate their U.S. citizenship.
  • Bittersweetness: However, the anniversary also holds a note of complexity. While celebrating citizenship, Puerto Ricans are also mindful of the unique nature of their status as U.S. citizens.
  • Statutory vs. Constitutional Citizenship: Unlike citizens in most U.S. states, Puerto Ricans have statutory citizenship, granted by Congress, not constitutional citizenship guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. This results in certain differences in rights and representation compared to other U.S. citizens.

Additional Information:

  • Puerto Rico has observed American Citizenship Day since 1917.
  • In 2024, the day marked the 107th anniversary of Puerto Ricans gaining U.S. citizenship.

Further Resources:

  • You can find more details about the Jones Act and its impact on Puerto Rican citizenship here: link to information about the Jones Act and Puerto Rican citizenship.

History American Citizenship Day in Puerto Rico

American Citizenship Day in Puerto Rico is celebrated on March 2nd to commemorate the signing of the Jones-Shafroth Act into law in 1917. This act granted U.S. citizenship to all residents of Puerto Rico born after the act’s passage.

The Road to U.S. Citizenship

Prior to 1917, Puerto Rico’s status as a U.S. territory meant its residents were considered U.S. nationals but not citizens. This meant they could not vote in federal elections, hold certain government jobs, or serve in the U.S. military without first going through the naturalization process.

The Jones Act, also known as the Jones-Shafroth Act, aimed to address these limitations and establish a clearer legal framework for Puerto Rico. While the act did grant U.S. citizenship, it also limited Puerto Rico’s self-government and imposed certain economic restrictions.

A Complex Celebration

American Citizenship Day in Puerto Rico is a complex celebration. While many Puerto Ricans cherish the rights and opportunities that come with U.S. citizenship, the day also serves as a reminder of the ongoing debate surrounding the island’s political status.

Puerto Ricans and the 14th Amendment

One of the main points of contention is that Puerto Ricans are considered statutory citizens, not constitutional citizens. This distinction stems from the wording of the 14th Amendment, which states that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Since Puerto Rico is not considered a state, some argue that the 14th Amendment does not automatically apply to its residents. This creates a situation where Puerto Ricans have U.S. citizenship but lack some of the full rights and privileges associated with it, such as the ability to vote in presidential elections.

The Debate Continues

The debate surrounding Puerto Rico’s political status is complex and multifaceted. American Citizenship Day serves as a yearly reminder of this ongoing conversation and the various perspectives that contribute to it.

What is American citizenship day in Puerto Rico?

American Citizenship Day in Puerto Rico, also known as “Día de la Ciudadanía Americana,” is celebrated on March 2nd to commemorate the day in 1917 when the Jones-Shafroth Act was signed into law, granting U.S. citizenship to all residents of Puerto Rico.

It’s important to note that this is a local observance and not a federal holiday in the United States. However, it holds significance for Puerto Ricans, marking a historical event that shaped their relationship with the U.S.

Also Read: All World Days

By Admin

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