A democratic socialist from New York appeared to suffer from a memory lapse after declaring a Caribbean island entirely belonging to the United States.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) criticized Trump 2020 campaign fundraiser Kimberly Guilfoyle for describing herself as a “first-generation American” on the first night of the Republican National Convention.
“As a first-generation American, I know how dangerous their socialist agenda is [because] my mother, Mercedes, was a special education teacher from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico,” Guilfoyle said in a video shared on YouTube. “My father, also an immigrant, came to this nation in pursuit of the American dream. Now, I consider it my duty to fight to protect that dream.”
After watching these remarks, Ocasio-Cortez thought it would be a good idea to demonstrate her geographic knowledge and correct Guilfoyle.
“The woman the GOP picked as their ‘proud’ Latina to tout ‘immigrant experience’ did not seem to know that Puerto Rico is already part of the United States,” the Democrat said on Twitter. “It is quite on message, because it reflects their belief that Latinos are not real citizens, even when we are native descendants.”
However, a quick fact-check revealed the political status of Puerto Rico is actually an “an unincorporated United States insular area” and is also a commonwealth having a written mutual agreement with the United States. As such, the island is neither a U.S. state nor a sovereign nation in its own right, and only “parts of the U.S. Constitution apply,” according to the U.S. Department of the Interior website.
The confusion lies in that some Puerto Ricans and mainland residents of Puerto Rican origin, consider themselves to be U.S. citizens because the island became an unincorporated territory after the 1898 Spanish-American War and residents have been eligible to receive U.S. citizenship since the year 1917.
Trump Victory Finance Committee chief of staff Sergio Gor rejected Ocasio-Cortez’s argument and backed Guilfoyle’s statement that she was from an immigrant family.
“Along with millions of other immigrants, Kimberly’s father immigrated to the United States,” Gor said in a statement obtained by Newsweek. “She is a proud daughter of an immigrant, and is the epitome of the American dream.”
Ocasio-Cortez previously urged her 7.6 million, social media followers, to stop buying Goya Food products and make Adobo sauce at home instead. Her nit-picking came after the company’s chief refused to apologize for speaking highly of President Trump at a White House roundtable with Latino leaders on July 9. The attempted boycott ultimately backfired with a growing chorus for a counter ‘buy-cott’ where people bought Goya products to show their support.