Category Archives: Immigrant Rights

Noncitizens Having the Right to Vote

This should be the new campaign in cities and school boards, particularly in cities where undocumented immigrants comprise a substantial part of the population.  They pay taxes and contribute immensely to local economies.  This is taxation without representation — and they should have the right to vote.

As this op-ed relates, a number of jurisdictions have taken the lead and made it a reality.

“There are now a handful of U.S. jurisdictions where noncitizens have a right to vote in some elections. In six towns in Maryland since the 1990s, all residents (except felons serving sentences or those judged mentally incompetent by a court) can vote in local elections. Chicago permits all noncitizen parents of schoolchildren to vote in school district elections. In California, all parents can participate in “parent trigger” votes to change the administration of their children’s schools.

Next year, the New York City Council will take up a bill — which has broad political support — that would allow noncitizens lawfully residing in the U.S. to vote in local elections. In March, Burlington, Vt., voters will decide on a similar ballot proposition to let legal permanent residents vote in local elections. The District of Columbia has a similar bill pending.”


Quick Update:

The Senate is trying to maintain order and pass a bill that will help the refugee children tonight. Despite attempts by Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) and the likes to deter, drag out the process by adding on amendments that would rollback policies and hurt immigrant families, Dreamers, the Senate is keeping a CLEAN bill for a vote tonight, which would direct funding to help the children fleeing violence to have the due process protections and rights to legal representation. After this vote in the next 35 min, the Senate will adjourn for August recess, returning Sept 8. Continue reading

Comment on: Immigrant advocates: Migrant kids don’t need new bill

Nearly 100,000 unaccompanied minors are expected to travel to the U.S. this year, a surge that prompted President Barack Obama to ask Congress for $3.7 billion two weeks ago to unplug a heavy case backlog and reinforce border patrol’s detention capacity. Many who want to beef up immigration enforcement say Obama’s policies incited the surge, and a few in Congress have proposed ways to expedite the children’s often lengthy hearing process.

But critics, such as L.A.’s Central American Resource Center (Carecen), say the high rates of gang violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are driving the kids to seek a better, safer life. They need a chance to prove that in U.S. immigration court, advocates said at a news conference in Pico-Union, where El Salvador’s most dangerous gangs were formed in the 1980s.

They contend children won’t have a chance to develop a coherent argument for asylum under a proposal, called the HUMANE Act, introduced by Texas congressmen Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Henry Cuellar on July 15.

The proposal seeks a hearing for the unaccompanied migrant children within seven days of being screened by U.S. agents. It would modify the months- or years-long process laid out in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, signed by President George Bush in 2008 that advocates say helps the migrant children.

Call Congressional Representatives to Protect Rights of Children Refugees

The Latino and Latina Roundtable urges you to call your Congressional Representatives in this area:  Grace Napolitano, Judy Chu, Gloria Negrete-McCloud, and Xavier Becerra today  and assure that there is no weakening of protections for children refugees who are fleeing violence and persecution. The phone numbers to call are below: Continue reading

Article: The Process Congress Wants to Use for Child Migrants is a Disaster

From Article:  The process Congress wants to use for child migrants is a disaster

On Monday, the White House said it was “likely” that migrant children facing the “credible threat” of death in their home countries would be allowed to stay in the United States, as the administration sought balance on the issue. Continue reading