First Lady Jill Biden visits Puerto Rico to show support for military families

First lady Jill Biden listens to Imani Mitchel during an event with military families at Fort Buchanan in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sunday. (AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo)

By Mivette Vega

March 18, 2024

The First Lady took advantage of the moment to reiterate Puerto Rico’s importance for her husband’s administration.

First Lady Jill Biden traveled to San Juan on Sunday as part of her initiative “Joining Forces,” which aims to support military families.

After landing at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport at 1:20 p.m., Biden headed to US Army Garrison Fort Buchanan, in Guaynabo, where about 250 military families were waiting for her at a barbecue.

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“As a military parent and first lady, I am here to tell you how much you mean to me personally and to the commander in chief, President Biden. Thank you for everything you do every day for Puerto Rico and our nation,” she said.

The First Lady took advantage of the moment to reiterate Puerto Rico’s importance for her husband’s administration. She said that for that reason, the president has approved “billions” of dollars for the island’s infrastructure. The professional teacher also said that the president advocates for Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens, to have the same benefits as Americans on the mainland.

“He has invested in Puerto Rico, creating more than 100,000 jobs and providing billions for infrastructure. He has fought pharmaceutical companies and reduced the cost of insulin. He’s made sure that Puerto Rican families receive the same tax credit as the rest of the nation, the child tax credit. And Joe’s calling on Congress to do the same for SNAP, Medicaid, and SSI,” she said.

As recently as last week, the president once again urged Congress to grant Puerto Rico and the other territories full access to Medicaid funds.

He also requested that they move towards parity in the SNAP program—which provides food assistance benefits to low-income individuals—and the SSI program, which provides monthly payments to people with disabilities and older adults with little or no income or assets.

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​​The First Lady has visited nearly 30 military installations and supported more than 50 events related to the community as part of her effort to support military families.

This was the second visit that the First Lady made to the Island. In October 2022, she visited Ponce along with President Biden to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Fiona.

Author

  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.

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