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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Brown-Waite's 'xenophobic' remark draws fire



U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville, is getting heat for saying residents of Puerto Rico and Guam should not get federal rebate checks because they are "foreign citizens." (Times story here.)

As the story notes, residents of Puerto Rico were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917. Likewise for residents of Guam in 1950. They pay Social Security taxes and other federal levies, though not federal income taxes.

"Puerto Ricans are Americans, and we are proud of both our heritage and our citizenry," said State Rep. Darren Soto (D-49), who represents parts of Orange and Osceola Counties and is of Puerto Rican heritage.

"Unfortunately, this xenophobic, anti-Hispanic rhetoric is typical of many Republicans these days," Florida Democratic Party spokesman Alejandro Miyar said. "Ginny Brown-Waite's irresponsible remarks show a profound lack of understanding for someone who is entrusted to represent a state with hundreds of thousands of Puerto Rican residents."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:08pm]


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