(CBS News) A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday that would admit Puerto Rico into the union as the 51st state without a referendum on the island's territorial status.
The bill was unveiled by Florida Rep. Darren Soto, a Democrat who represents parts of Orlando and its large Puerto Rican community, during a press conference in Washington attended by the island's Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, a vocal supporter of Puerto Rican statehood. If enacted, the legislation would automatically trigger the island's admission into the union, bypassing any referendum.
"I'm exited about the possibility of finally ending this historic injustice. It's time for all Puerto Ricans to be united behind a noble and Democratic effort," Soto said alongside Rosselló, local Puerto Rican leaders and Reps. Ruben Gallego, Jamie Raskin, Don Young and Jenniffer González-Colón, the island's non-voting delegate. "It's time to let the old battle lines fade away. It's time to end 120 years of colonialism."
Advertisement - story continues below