The following remarks were made as the closing keynote address at the conference, "Mainland Puerto Ricans: Myths and Realities on Poverty," held at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, on October 22 and 23, 1993.

There are two "stories" frequently cited to explain the causes of the poverty among Puerto Ricans: the first suggests that Puerto Ricans are poor because they are going through a transition as they move toward full assimilation; the second proposes that Puerto Ricans are becoming part of an urban "underclass." Neither of these explanations stands the test of reality.


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