San Juan Mayor: Puerto Ricans Have Not Received Their Stimulus Checks From The Trump Administration
American citizens are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government has passed emergency legislation that guaranteed payments to eligible American citizens. However, eligible Puerto Rican residents have not received their payments.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz is calling on the Trump administration to distribute stimulus checks to the island.
Mayor Cruz told MSNBC that the federal government has yet to deliver any of the $1,200 stimulus checks to the eligible island residents. Puerto Ricans are American citizens at birth and are entitled to the same stimulus checks as those who live on the mainland.
Cruz claims that the issue is not getting the help that they need but that the help is just not arriving. The help is there but it is going to the higher level of government, according to Cruz, and not reaching the people that need it most.
People are praising Cruz for speaking up and highlighting the issues impacting Puerto Rican residents.
“No one in Puerto Rico has received the $1,200 from the federal government,” Cruz says. “We’re having trouble with our local $500 that the governor said was going to be distributed. There are more than 130,000 unemployment requests that have not been filled. The same thing with people getting food stamps, new requests for people getting food stamps.”
Some people are comparing Trump’s handling of Puerto Rico during his presidency to the latest COVID news.
The Trump administration first faced criticism over their handling of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017. The hurricane devastates the island and the federal government was slow to respond. The moment in American history showed President Trump visiting the Caribbean island and tossing paper towels to people in a crowd.
The structure of government handling U.S. territories has added to the delay in paying Puerto Rican residents.
According to the IRS, there are special rules for people living in Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. It is up to the tax authority of those territories to release payments to eligible people. The IRS is telling people in those territories to reach out to their local tax authorities with questions about their federal stimulus checks.
Payments to some Puerto Ricans was guaranteed by Francisco Parés, Secretary at the Puerto Rico Treasury Department, according to News Is My Business. Yet, despite that promise, Americans who call Puerto Rico home are still waiting to get their deserved stimulus checks.