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Get Out The Vote

Aug
9
2004

The fight to allow legal U.S. immigrants to vote is spreading. In Washington, D.C., they’re going San Francisco one better and talking about letting all legal residents who are not citizen in on The District’s elections.
Interesting, no? The biggest proponents are the city’s entrepreneurs, its small businesses owners. In D.C. that’s Ethiopians. In San Francisco, it’s Chinese immigrants.
In this climate — voters rights for immigrants are breaking out all over — it’s foolish to think that the Constitution can’t be changed to allow Gov. Terminator to become president. Very foolish. It’s equally short-sighted to think that immigrant voters are always Democrats, too. Whenever you see small business folks looking to control politics chances are good they’re worried about nuts and bolts stuff like taxes, street cleaning, and garbage collection. Basic, sometimes conservative, stuff.
The New York Times piece detailing the D.C. maneuvering is quick to talk about immigrant voting rights from the last century, before anti-Semitism and its obnoxious sibling Red-baiting became so ingrained in U.S. immigration policy.
So here’s something to watch: how fear of terror colors this debate which, in many respects is a move for recognition on the part of recent U.S. arrivals who want – really and truly want – to partake in what they believe is the American Dream. This is a big fight and it will have political ramifications for both parties, the kind that can realign loyalties very quickly. So pay attention; it’s just getting started.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 11:56 AM | Permalink

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