"This is because Puerto Rico does not recognize
The USVI as part of the United States."
Ah, Puerto Rico is a WAR PRIZE and the US government calls it an "insular possession" of the United States. What PR
does or does not recognize has no standing in federal law or federal court, and last time I checked, both ICE and USCG were required to follow federal rules and federal standards, not the standards of some half-assed war prize which has no vote in how the country is run, and has chosen to remain a half-asses war price instead of voting for statehood. Which they've declined multiple times. Supposedly because the big corporations and the upper class both enjoy the tax freedoms they gain by not becoming a state. Which still makes PR
a war prize and nothing more.
The USVI has the same status as PR
, they are both "insular possessions" and as such they are classed by Federal law as outside the Customs' boundaries of the US. So regardless of which ones you travel between, it is Federal law, not local law, that determines how you will have to clear in and out.
Under Federal law, if you travel from the USVI to PR
, you might as well be traveling to Guam, because you've left the US in between your ports of call.