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POLITICS: Immigrants Now Fighting For Voting Rights

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posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 09:02 PM
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The long held standard of being an American citizen to be able to participate in this country's elections is being challenged and in some cities, immigrants are able to vote in local elections. 22 states in prior history, allowed non-citizens to vote but by 1928, voting was restricted to citizens only. Now there is a rising call to allow non-citizens the ability to vote in the country's elections.
 



www.theledger.com
WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 - For months, the would-be revolutionaries plotted strategy and lobbied local politicians here with the age-old plea, "No taxation without representation!" Last month, some of the unlikely insurgents - Ethiopian-born restaurateurs, travel agents and real estate developers in sober business suits - declared that victory finally seemed within reach.

Five City Council members announced their support for a bill that would allow thousands of immigrants to vote in local elections here, placing the nation's capital among a handful of cities across the country in the forefront of efforts to offer voting rights to noncitizens.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is an interesting story, one which enlightened me to the fact that non-citizens were allowed to vote in the US in the past. While I think at this time that you should be a citizen of the country to be afforded the opportunity to vote, I am interested to hear from my fellow ATSers on their views to this rising call for the right to vote.
sp:ed

[edit on 8/9/04 by JacKatMtn]




posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 09:04 PM
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Only citizens.

That's my view.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 09:16 PM
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Non Citizen, non voter IMHO, this rights thing is gettin out of hand. If you want to vote become a citizen. My dad was an immagrant and he did it. ITs alot easier than it used to be, My wife also followed the same path.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 09:28 PM
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I think letting non citizens vote in a countries elections is crazy. Illegal immigrants should not even be allowed to vote in school board elections



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 09:47 PM
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I agree with letting non-citizens vote in local elections. After all, as long as you are paying taxes in the country, you should have your say in your locality. Fair's fair.

U.

[edit on 9-8-2004 by upuaut]



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 11:16 PM
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I think we would be opening a can of worms with this one. The article itself noted comments from a "permanent resident" and an "alien." What about illegal aliens, visa holders, green care holders, etc. could they vote?

If someone wants to vote in an election - is it really that much to ask that they become a citizen?



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 11:28 PM
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dang i have been duped. I thought the UN oversight for the '04 is the worst thing american could do and the stupidest thing but no we have a winner.

THis is so stupid i cant even fathom it. Yeah in the past it might have been acceptible because it was hard for immagrants to become citizens and they needed teh immagrants to vote to get rights. They had no rights in the industrial age and could be bullied not to become a citizen. SO then it was fair.


Now its absurd. Think about it what if the chinese wanted to rig the elections. Send 100k peopel to vote a certain way for soem canadate u want!! the dangers are limitless.

Has our politicians become retarded




posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 11:30 PM
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Originally posted by Bleys
I think we would be opening a can of worms with this one. The article itself noted comments from a "permanent resident" and an "alien." What about illegal aliens, visa holders, green care holders, etc. could they vote?

If someone wants to vote in an election - is it really that much to ask that they become a citizen?


It kind of is: becoming a citizen is an extremely lengthy process. I have a French friend who spent 8 years getting permanent residence... Citizenship is a step further yet...

For local elections, I think it is fair to allow to vote anyone who resides in the locality and pays taxes... Beyond that, I think citizenship should be a requisite for broader elections.

I don't see why anyone we have welcomed on our soil with some sort of non-temporary visa should be excluded from participating in the political shaping of her immediate environment. I feel deeply that part of the solution to many of our modern problems involves getting people involved in community-scaled solutions, and involving non-citizen tax-payers in the local politics would be a reflection of that philosophy.

U.



[edit on 9-8-2004 by upuaut]

[edit on 9-8-2004 by upuaut]



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 11:48 PM
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Originally posted by Quicksilver
Yeah in the past it might have been acceptible because it was hard for immagrants to become citizens and they needed teh immagrants to vote to get rights. They had no rights in the industrial age and could be bullied not to become a citizen. SO then it was fair.


That is a good point, in relation to history, what I am shocked to hear is that immigrants today have already been allowed the right to vote in local elections, I was firmly planted in my "ignorance", that you had to be a citizen to vote on anything in the US.

While I agree with the legal immigrancy into this country, I do not feel that it is too much to require that they become legal citizens before they are able to become a registered voter.

I don't think this is much to ask of those who want to be a part of the country. To allow this requirement to be ignored, is to disregard the commitment of millions of immigrants who earned their right to vote by becoming citizens of the United States.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 11:48 PM
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it's all part of some type of plan to dilute the American culture. let immigrants vote, non citizens run for pres...why not just say 'hay..if you can get to America, you will automaticaly become a legal citizen..no question or requirements needed.'



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 11:52 PM
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Originally posted by clearmind
it's all part of some type of plan to dilute the American culture. let immigrants vote, non citizens run for pres...why not just say 'hay..if you can get to America, you will automaticaly become a legal citizen..no question or requirements needed.'


Funnily enough, I agree that there are parties who find an interest in allowing Americans to feel assieged in their own nation, and I do not subscribe to their agenda in the slightest.
However I have not heard of ANYONE suggesting non-citizens run for President, nor allowing people who arrive in the US to automatically become citizens. I would therefore have to consider your post a bit of a rant


U.

[edit on 9-8-2004 by upuaut]

[edit on 10-8-2004 by upuaut]



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 12:01 AM
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Originally posted by upuaut
For local elections, I think it is fair to allow to vote anyone who resides in the locality and pays taxes... Beyond that, I think citizenship should be a requisite for broader elections.


I definitely hear where you are coming from. If voting rights for local elections could be established without setting ANY kind of precedent for a claim to National voting rights - I may be inclined to support it. But for National elections - it should remain a privilege for US citizens.

As far as the wait to become a US citizen - don't forget that those of us born in the US have to wait 18 years before we can vote.



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 12:12 AM
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It is a fairly easy process to become a citizen, if you look at the requirements, it is not a difficult process, if you are willing......

Welcome to the naturalization home page. Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The general requirements for administrative naturalization include:

* a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
* residence in a particular USCIS District prior to filing;
* an ability to read, write, and speak English;
* a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
* good moral character;
* attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and,
* favorable disposition toward the United States.

Naturalization

Seems fair to me as a US citizen...



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 12:52 AM
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Originally posted by JacKatMtn
It is a fairly easy process to become a citizen, if you look at the requirements, it is not a difficult process, if you are willing......

Welcome to the naturalization home page. Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The general requirements for administrative naturalization include:

* a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
* residence in a particular USCIS District prior to filing;
* an ability to read, write, and speak English;
* a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
* good moral character;
* attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and,
* favorable disposition toward the United States.

Naturalization

Seems fair to me as a US citizen...


Sorry, but I must say your approach is a bit simplistic. You can't just read an extract from the naturalization home page to understand what the process is like. Like I said, I my french friend spent thousands of dollars and waited eight years to become a permanent resident.

Also, the period of time you have to legally reside in the US before being able to become naturalized is not specified, is it? Why do you judge that to be 'fairly easy' if the period is not disclosed?

Legally residing in the US for any amount of time, even if it is only a few years, means paying a lot of money and going through a lot of hassle to renew whatever visas are necessary. Meanwhile, if these people are paying taxes and residing lawfully in any given state, why should they require citizenship to vote in local elections? I can't think of a single valid reason.

Talk to you,

U.

[edit on 10-8-2004 by upuaut]



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 12:56 AM
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Originally posted by Bleys

As far as the wait to become a US citizen - don't forget that those of us born in the US have to wait 18 years before we can vote.


True. I think its like that the world over... pretty much.

U.

[edit on 10-8-2004 by upuaut]



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 01:13 AM
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Originally posted by upuaut
Also, the period of time you have to legally reside in the US before being able to become naturalized is not specified, is it? Why do you judge that to be 'fairly easy' if the period is not disclosed?


It is specified and is fairly easy to understand...
Requirements to Residency

Sec. 316. [8 U.S.C. 1427]


(a) No person, except as otherwise provided in this title, shall be naturalized, unless such applicant, (1) immediately preceding the date of filing his application for naturalization has resided continuously, after being lawfully admitted for permanent residence, within the United States for at least five years and during the five years immediately preceding the date of filing his application has been physically present therein for periods totaling at least half of that time, and who has resided within the State or within the district of the Service in the United States in which the applicant filed the application for at least three months, (2) has resided continuously within the United States from the date of the application up to the time of admission to citizenship, (3) during all the periods referred to in this subsection has been and still is a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States.


(b) Absence from the United States of more than six months but less than one year during the period for which continuous residence is required for admission to citizenship, immediately preceding the date of filing the application for naturalization, or during the period between the date of filing the application and the date of any hearing under section 336(a), shall break the continuity of such residence, unless the applicant shall establish to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that he did not in fact abandon his residence in the United States during




Legally residing in the US for any amount of time, even if it is only a few years, means paying a lot of money and going through a lot of hassle to renew whatever visas are necessary. Meanwhile, if these people are paying taxes and residing lawfully in any given state, why should they require citizenship to vote in local elections? I can't think of a single valid reason.


A few years continuous residence is a part of all they need to be able to apply for citizenship. This is a fair process, one that millions of immigrated Americans have already accomplished, so why is it unfair to ask immigrants now to put forth the effort to accomadate these fair requirements?



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 01:20 AM
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I can think of a couple of reasons. First, having to become a citizen is a good way for a person to show that they are serious about living in the US. Second, the time a person has to spend completing the naturalization process is time for them to become better aquainted with a locality's customs, history, and residents. These things have a direct relation to how and why things are done on a local basis.

Third, it prevents the possibility of a small locality being overwhelmed by a sudden influx of temporary citizens who would then be able to vote in ways that the permanent residents would have to live with when the temps moved on. Remember, local elections usually not only deal with elections to fill local government positions, they also have issues such as sewer district changes, zoning changes, school levies, etc etc.

Would a person who has just moved into a locality from a foreign country understand the reasons a community would not want a certain area of the county or district developed? Probably not. The period an immigrant spends in the naturalization process would help them become aclimatized to the area they are going to live in.

I have several friends who have recently moved to the US from Russia. They have been able to get through the naturalization process in the minimum amount of time, and with little cost. I don't know why your friend had the problems he or she did, but perhaps there where other difficulties involved.

Anyway, just a few concerns that crossed my mind on the subject.

edit- damn the spelling!

[edit on 8/10/2004 by Montana]


Q

posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 03:25 AM
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Don't actually allow them to vote...just allow them to register, and slap the cuffs on 'em when they show up at the polls.


Save immigration a lot of time and effort.



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 04:29 AM
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Originally posted by JacKatMtn

A few years continuous residence is a part of all they need to be able to apply for citizenship. This is a fair process, one that millions of immigrated Americans have already accomplished, so why is it unfair to ask immigrants now to put forth the effort to accomadate these fair requirements



I don't think it is unfair to ask them to fit these requirements to become citizens. I do think it is unfair to stop them from participating in the local political life until they do.

I don't believe in excluding or alienating people from participating in local decision making when they have chosen that place as their home and are contributing to the region's economy and culture via their livelihoods and activities.

U.


[edit on 10-8-2004 by upuaut]



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 04:59 AM
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Originally posted by Montana
I can think of a couple of reasons. First, having to become a citizen is a good way for a person to show that they are serious about living in the US.


True, although the act of living there for more than year ought to be commitment enough for them to weigh in local decision making that directly affects their lives...



Second, the time a person has to spend completing the naturalization process is time for them to become better aquainted with a locality's customs, history, and residents. These things have a direct relation to how and why things are done on a local basis.


I consider this a better point. However the time frame is excessive in my opinion: when I think of my friend who has lived in the US for almost nine years and who still can't vote in any elections, let alone local, your point does not seem to apply...



Third, it prevents the possibility of a small locality being overwhelmed by a sudden influx of temporary citizens who would then be able to vote in ways that the permanent residents would have to live with when the temps moved on. Remember, local elections usually not only deal with elections to fill local government positions, they also have issues such as sewer district changes, zoning changes, school levies, etc etc.


I don't think this is necessarily valid. Us citizens can temporarily move anywhere we want and vote in local elections before moving on, can't we? So what prevents us from doing what you fear legal immigrants might do?
There is no clearcut of defining a temporary resident of a locality as opposed to a permanent one: anyone is able to come and go as they please!



Would a person who has just moved into a locality from a foreign country understand the reasons a community would not want a certain area of the county or district developed? Probably not. The period an immigrant spends in the naturalization process would help them become aclimatized to the area they are going to live in.


Understood. Beyond my response above, I would add that there is no way of ensuring that anyone understands what they are voting about. I believe in my heart of hearts that most Americans don't understand what they are voting for when they vote. To make an educated decision, there is so often so much BS to cut through, and so much independant study to do, that the average citizen doesn't have the time or the will.
I think that if aware voting was truly a concern, we should not be differentiating between people who have lived in the area five years and are citizens, and people who have lived there five years but are not.



I have several friends who have recently moved to the US from Russia. They have been able to get through the naturalization process in the minimum amount of time, and with little cost. I don't know why your friend had the problems he or she did, but perhaps there where other difficulties involved.


What is that minimum amount of time?
Did they become naturalized through marriage?
My friend had no special circumstances... And another French friend never managed to even get a green card (once again, no special circumstances).
I assure you that you are not aware of the difficulty of these procedures. If there are circumstances not being shared that explain the discrepancy between your russian friends and my french ones, I am quite certain they are on the side of your russian friends.



Anyway, just a few concerns that crossed my mind on the subject.

edit- damn the spelling!

[edit on 8/10/2004 by Montana]


Fair enough... I think we should both ask around for more input on this to try to validate either of our impressions. Perhaps someone here can testify on the matter?

Talk to you,

U.

[edit on 10-8-2004 by upuaut]

[edit on 10-8-2004 by upuaut]




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