After deadly Hurricane Maria struck the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico, leaving many islanders with absolutely nothing to back home to, politicos throughout the country began to talk about a possible mass exodus from the island to the U.S. mainland.
Republicans fear that this mass influx of Puerto Rican immigrants (all are U.S. citizens) could tip the political scales in Florida, especially if they follow the lead that many of their brethren have already taken-move to the I-4 corridor.
The stretch between Tampa and Daytona Beach makes or breaks statewide political races. Puerto Ricans in this area tend vote Democratic, and if more immigrants register to vote as Democrats in competitive political districts like congressional district 7, you can see how this would be troubling for Republicans.
According to the Miami Herald, Republican Senator Marco Rubio told them that he had “zero concern” about a mass migration of Puerto Ricans to Florida, adding that the problem would be for Puerto Rico, not Florida.
But now Florida’s other U.S. Senator, Bill Nelson (D), is openly encouraging those who have already left, or will leave the island for Florida, to register to vote once arriving in the sunshine state.
Do you think Nelson had the I-4 corridor in mind when he stated the following?
Remember, Nelson is on the verge of taking on probable Republican senatorial candidate, Florida Governor Rick Scott in the 2018 mid term elections.
“If they will register to vote, which I’m certainly going to encourage, because I can tell you among the Puerto Rican community in the greater Orlando area, they have been very embracing of my public service…The question is how many will want to register, and how many will want to return.”-Sen. Bill Nelson (D)
Those Puerto Ricans who decide to immigrate to the mainland will do so because they have lost everything, so it is fair to say that if they make the move toFlorida, Nelson and other Democrats will welcome them with open arms and government cheese.