Tuesday, December 30, 2003

TUESDAY: Hot Potatoes


A University of California at Los Angeles law professor has issued a call to change the law to allow California's 4.6 million noncitizens to vote in local elections.

Joaquin C. Avila of UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center cited census data that found that noncitizen adults comprise large portions of California municipalities, such as 32 percent of Los Angeles. Since these legal and illegal aliens contribute to the economy and government revenues, but are denied political representation, Avila called the situation "political apartheid." He said to be fair, they should be allowed to vote.

On the other hand, some would say they should be arrested and deported, not given the right to vote. Citizenship is the cornerstone of the American system of government with responsibilities as well as rights, and it is controversial indeed to consider extending voting rights to illegal aliens, who deliberately have broken the law, or even to their legal immigrant counterparts, who are still, to be honest, aliens and not citizens. Letting illegal aliens vote would be the same as letting people vote who come to the polling both in the nude or rob everybody standing in line, and the poll workers, too.

To read Avila’s brief, see www.sscnet.ucla.edu/esp/csrc/policybriefs/PB09.pdf

For the other point of view on the intricacies of Americanizing immigrants – how it takes a lot more than moving here and getting a job to become an American — see the website of the respected think tank, the Center for Immigration Studies:

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