Perez Backing Statehood for Puerto Rico

Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez / Getty Images

Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez is currently backing statehood for Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is currently a commonwealth territory of the United States. Its citizens do not have the right to vote for president, and its delegate sent to Congress does not have the right to vote in the House of Representatives.

Perez recently told Politico of his support for full statehood for Puerto Rico. Two of Perez's siblings were born there.

Puerto Rico's Sunday plebiscite for statehood had overwhelming support for the island to become the 51st state, but many consider the vote to be disingenuous because less than 25 percent declined to vote in protest. Statehood support received 97 percent of the vote, but the turnout was very low compared to other elections in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is in the midst of a major economic crisis as the island is facing high debt, and some critics believe statehood supporters view it as a means of gaining more aid from the United States.