That means that they can come to the mainland to work or live without passing through immigration—and many of them do. (West Side Story was filmed four years before the Immigration Act of 1965, the musical opened in 1957.)
So if ordinary Puerto Ricans have the right to move to the United States, something five billion people would like to have, then their worst enemy, economically speaking, is the Mexican illegal immigrant. The average Puerto Rican working man doesn't speak much English, and so if he's looking for work, he's competing with Mexican workers. That means that the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund should be trying to enforce the immigration laws to protect Puerto Ricans from competition. It's not.
It is, as Bryanna wrote below, making a massive effort to sue Hazleton, PA, in order to protect illegal immigrants.
In another case, the PRLDF is trying to intimidate a town council by threatening to use its Ford Foundation money to bankrupt them. Their annual budget is a
Here's an interview with César Perales, [send him mail]the executive director of the PRDLF which says
When César Perales took over as executive director of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund two years ago, it was a triumphant homecoming. LawCrossing speaks to Mr. Perales about how the PLDEF has expanded its mandate to fight for justice for all Latinos."For all Latinos." Even if they're directly dispossessing actual Puerto Ricans?
In 2001, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mexicans were displacing Puerto Ricans in New York.[A Surging Mexican Population Creates New Rifts, Rivalries for Hispanic Groups By Eduardo Porter, The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2001]
Maybe Mr. Perales should consider repurposing the PRLDF to protect "all Americans" rather than "all Hispanics," since Puerto Ricans are American citizens, and like all American citizens, they are affected negatively by mass immigration, even if the immigrants speak Spanish.