Virgin Islanders react to President Trump’s Transfer Day statement

President Donald J. Trump has shown an unprecedented commitment to the Virgin Islands as the U.S. territory celebrates 100 years under the American flag.

“President Trump has proven to be the strongest ally the Virgin Islands has ever had in the White House,” said John Canegata, chairman of the Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands. “His commitment started as a candidate and was re-affirmed this week as president.”

Trump issued a powerful statement, saying in part: “We thank God for the U.S. Virgin Islands, for its wonderful people, and for making the U.S. Virgin Islands part of the United States of America.”

The statement came on the same day that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was on St. Croix for the Transfer Day commemoration.

“The fact that Secretary Zinke chose St. Croix and the Virgin Islands as the first territory to visit speaks volumes about the administration’s commitment to ensuring a better, brighter future for all Americans, including Virgin Islanders,” said Virgin Islands GOP National Committeeman Jevon Williams. “No president and no secretary of Interior have been there for Virgin Islanders like President Trump and Secretary Zinke.”

The former Obama administration didn’t send its Interior secretary to the territory until the final months of its second term.

President Trump’s statement on Transfer Day

President Donald J. Trump issued the following statement on the centennial of Transfer Day:

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RNC Statement on Virgin Islands Centennial as Part of United States

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel issued the following statement paying tribute to Americans in the Virgin Islands, as the territory celebrates 100 years as part of the United States:

“Generations of Virgin Islanders have joined fellow Americans from the states and territories in wearing the uniform of the Armed Services and steadfastly defending our freedoms and liberties as American citizens in the 100 years since the islands of St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas and Water Island were acquired by the United States from Denmark. While the Virgin Islands is regretfully denied a vote for president, it has been the long-standing position of the Republican Party that Virgin Islanders are afforded equal opportunities and the right to self-determine their own future in the fabric of our great country.”

GOP statement on Secretary Zinke’s visit to the Virgin Islands

Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands Chairman John Canegata issued the following statement ahead of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s visit for the centennial of Transfer Day:

“Secretary Zinke’s visit to our islands in his first month on the job is a reaffirmation of the strong commitment that President Trump made to the Virgin Islands during his campaign. This administration is committed to ensuring a better, brighter future for all Virgin Islanders. By contrast, the now-former administration failed to send the Interior secretary to the territory until the final months of its second term.”

Canegata along with GOP National Committeewoman Lilliana Belardo de O’Neal and National Committeeman Jevon Williams attended Zinke’s confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate.

As secretary of Interior, Zinke oversees the U.S. territories.

GOP statement on Transfer Day

Territorial Republican Party Chairman John Canegata issued the following statement ahead of the Transfer Day centennial:

“Virgin Islanders have in the 100 years since Transfer Day steadfastly stood with fellow Americans from the states and territories in every war and conflict. Our formal history as Americans may be relatively short, but our islands have greatly contributed to the fabric of the United States since the days of Alexander Hamilton and, more recently, with Roy Innis.”