SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (EFE) – Puerto Rican singer René Pérez, the most known face behind famous reggaeton group Calle 13, said he would like to give up his U.S. citizenship but won't do it because of the complex legal situation it would land him in.
"If a Puerto Rican renounces American citizenship, he will be considered a foreigner and will be subject to the immigration and naturalization laws," the singer, who goes by the name "Residente," said in a series of Twitter postings.
Pérez's comments came after local media published an interview of the Puerto Rican rapper aired by the RT news channel last November, during which he said that what he would really like is to have Puerto Rican nationality, which does not officially exist.
For a Puerto Rican to give up American citizenship "signifies, among other things, that he would need a visa to travel to Puerto Rico or to live on the island, he couldn't work in Puerto Rico without the authorization of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, nor would he be allowed to vote in the elections," the singer said.
Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony until 1898 when it came under the jurisdiction of the United States, which has given it a limited autonomy in matters like minting money, defense and border protection. After 1917, all Puerto Ricans born in the Caribbean island became automatic U.S. citizens.