Zirpoli: Puerto Rican migrants to Florida after Hurricane Maria may influence 2018, '20 elections – Carroll County Times
Will the Puerto Rican migration of 2018 impact the 2018 and 2020 elections? No one knows, of course. But if it does, Florida will be the place where their votes will make the biggest difference.
That’s the hope, anyway, of Democrats — and the worry of Republicans — as tens of thousands of U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico migrate to the U.S. mainland, mostly to Florida, because of poor living conditions in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of their island. The U.S. government was slow to respond and President Donald Trump did not seem to understand that Puerto Rico was part of the United States and, thus, his responsibility as president.
According to NBC News, over 135,000 Puerto Ricans have permanently moved to the United States mainland so far. Over 56,000 of them have made Florida their home. In Orange County alone, according to Orange County Public Schools, 3,492 displaced children from Puerto Rico have been added to their enrollments since Hurricane Maria.
Because they are U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans can vote after they register in the state they settle. This adds to the 1 million Puerto Ricans already living in Florida. Considering that Trump won Florida in 2016 by just 112,000 votes, it seems that this influx of votes by Puerto Ricans could make a difference in the 2018 and 2020 elections.
After Hurricane Maria, Trump complained about the recovery costs in Puerto Rico and how the costs to help them would hurt the federal budget. He issued no such complaints regarding Texas and Florida, also damaged by Maria, and where Trump immediately visited and promised aid. Trump tweeted a warning to Puerto Rico that the government would not be able to help them “forever.” Again, no such tweet about limiting assistance to Texas or Florida.