"People who are legal immigrants to the United States after a five-year waiting period can become citizens and become enfranchised," spokesman Ira Mehlman said. "But until then, being here as a legal immigrant is a conditional agreement, sort of like a trial period. You have to demonstrate you are the type of person we would want to have as a citizen, then you can become a citizen and vote."
Ira Mehlman, Federation for American Immigration Reform
Read the article. Essentially what is going on here is that people across the US (pronounced Dem-o-crats) feel that it is unfair for someone who has not taken the effort to fully learn to speak English or become a US citizen to be denied the right to vote.
The solution? A quiet, this is the first I have heard of it, movement to pass laws to allow legal immigrants who have not become citizens to vote in local elections. The article recounts the story of this gentleman:
Abdirizak Daud, 40, moved to Minneapolis 18 years ago before coming to Portland in 2006. He hasn't been able to find a job. Some of his nine children have attended Portland schools, and he'd like to have a say in who's looking over the school system and the city, he said.
But between his limited English and the financial demands, Daud hasn't been able to become a citizen.
This man has lived in the US for 18 years, all of which you and I have been paying for an interpreter whenever he has accessed health care or governmental services because he has not taken the effort to become proficient in English, and he deserves the right to vote?
Now the initial reaction to this is, it's just local elections. Who cares who votes for school boards, city councils, dog catcher, right? What about local election officials? How about having these non-citizens vote for either local election officials or the people who appoint them? Still okay?
Check this site out.
Finally, one last quote to wrap things up. Think this might have anything to do with this effort?
"I like the Democrats. I want to vote for Democrats, but I don't have citizenship,"
Evidently Mr Daud, from above, can speak some English.