I'm thinking that the push to make Puerto Rico a state would be to force the Republicans to change the policy towards Cuba. If PR becomes a state, then we'll need to normalize relations with Cuba so that we can refuse asylum to Cubans, who will flee from Cuba to PR if PR becomes a state and we still have the wet-foot dry-foot policy.
No one wants to take the blame for normalizing relations with Cuba, because it will piss off the "Oh... lost empire" Cubans in Florida. I don't know how many of those you have met, but like a lot of refugees, many of them would have you believe that they are nobility in exile and rightful owners of Tara and Doce Robles.
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