A resolution denouncing the Insular Cases, led by the Virgin Islands members of the Democratic National Committee, was passed Saturday during the group’s national fall meeting.
With the approval, the party has agreed to denounce the ideology in the Insular Cases, and agrees that the territories should be treated equally in regards to voting rights and important federal programs, according to the resolution.
The Insular Cases were a series of cases in the early 1900s that referred to people in the territories as “uncivilized” and “alien” races, unfit for the privilege of citizenship, according to a press release.
Attacking the Insular Cases was an early priority of V.I. National Committeewoman Donna Christensen and National Committeeman Angel Bolques Jr., the press release said.
“The final resolution language was worked out with committee staff, V.I. State Chair Cecil Benjamin, Puerto Rico State Chair Charles Rodriguez and myself in a series of meetings,” Christensen said.
All members of Congress representing the territories have introduced House Resolution 279, which will express the sense of Congress that the cases should be rejected and Christensen submitted testimony at a Legislation hearing, according to the release.
V.I. Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett recently amended HR 4505, the Commerce, Justice Science and related Agencies Appropriations Bill to bar the Justice Department from further defending these cases.
“All of these actions are necessary because the cases continue to be relied on as precedent in some Courts and have been cited in decisions regarding the Territories by both Democratic and Republican Administrations,” Christensen said.
“They continue to impact the way we are treated in programs, funding and the exercise of the rights and privileges of citizenship.”