Puerto Ricans’ Plea for Aid From Uncle Sam: We’re Americans, Too (Source Bloomberg) Island’s governor fears ‘mass exodus’ if crisis isn’t tackled. After Hurricane Irma, Floridians never felt compelled to remind the federal government that they were U.S. citizens. Nor did Texans after Harvey. But that’s just what Governor Ricardo Rossello and the commonwealth’s government have done, over and over, in the wake of Hurricane Maria. “There needs to be unprecedented relief for Puerto Rico so that we can start the immediate effort right now,” Rossello said Tuesday on MSNBC. Puerto Rico, an island of 3.4 million American citizens without a vote in Congress, is lobbying Washington for what could be billions in funding to rebuild its infrastructure, including its decimated energy grid. And it’s doing so amid an already costly hurricane season. The island was crawling with 10,000 federal relief workers who were conducting search-and-rescue missions, helping bring electricity to hospitals, and providing aid packages, baby food and more. But with the Washington visitors on hand, Rossello’s team missed no opportunity to remind them of why Puerto Rico — mired in bankruptcy and ill-equipped financially to go it alone — shouldn’t become an afterthought.