……and vote for Democrats!
I hope the big immigraton control groups like FAIR and NumbersUSA are on this case. On Tuesday, November 2nd, voters in Portland, Maine will vote on whether noncitizens will be allowed to vote in local elections.
From an AP story at the Lewiston Sun Journal (where they too have a stake in the outcome as regular readers know):
PORTLAND (AP) — Like his neighbors, Claude Rwaganje pays taxes on his income and taxes on his cars. His children have gone to Portland’s public schools. He’s interested in the workings of Maine’s largest city, which he has called home for 13 years.
There’s one vital difference, though: Rwaganje isn’t a U.S. citizen and isn’t allowed to vote on those taxes or on school issues. That may soon change.
Portland residents will vote Nov. 2 on a proposal to give legal residents who are not U.S. citizens the right to vote in local elections, joining places like San Francisco and Chicago that have already loosened the rules or are considering it.
Opponents say: become citizens!
Opponents of the measure say immigrants already have an avenue to cast ballots — by becoming citizens. Allowing noncitizens to vote dilutes the meaning of citizenship, they say, adding that it could lead to fraud and unfairly sway elections.
Illiterate Somali says: I want to vote for Democrats
He has been here for 18 years (since he was 22 years old), but can’t speak enough English, and hasn’t become a citizen!
The Maine League of Young Voters, which spearheaded the drive to force the question on the ballot, estimates there are 5,000 to 7,500 immigrants in Portland, roughly half of whom are not U.S. citizens. They come from more than 100 countries, with the two largest groups from Somalia and Latin America.
On a recent day in a small lunchroom at the Al-Amin Halal Market, a group of Somali men ate lunch and talked in their native language. A sign advertised the day’s offerings, including hilib ari (goat), bariis (rice) and baasto (spaghetti).
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.
“I like the Democrats. I want to vote for Democrats, but I don’t have citizenship,” he said.
As the Rolling Stones song goes, you can’t always get what you want (even in America)! Well, at least I hope that is the case!
Endnote: Be sure to read the comments at the Sun Journal. As we have often noted, comments from Lewiston and Auburn are generally lively.