The Eucharist drew that great diversity of people into unity in the communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, realizing a Jubilee Year hope for the Church: Unity in diversity is the vision that we bishops, as pastors of the Church in the United States, offer to our people as they welcome the new immigrants and refugees who come to our shores. In the past thirty-five years the number and variety of immigrants coming to the United States have provided a great challenge for us as pastors. Though a good number come as skilled workers and professionals, the greater number come as refugees and immigrants on the edge of survival; large numbers join families already here; others arrive without proper documents.
Introduction Voting is an iconic embodiment in American civic life. Other than standing for public office, American citizens have no stronger collective civic obligations than those that flow from their ability and responsibility to help shape community policy.
The vote is a primary vehicle for exercising those civic responsibilities. Voting is also an essential marker of full community membership in a democratic republic. It is the ultimate reflection of the mutual consent between prospective Americans and the American national community by which immigrants become full, legal, and recognized members.
In choosing to enter into the naturalization process, immigrants demonstrate an interest in becoming full members of the American national community as well as a willingness to spend the time and effort necessary to do so. In accepting an immigrant as a full citizen at the end of that process, the community affirms that full membership.
In linking the vote to full membership, the community further affirms that new members have shown the requisite attachment and commitment to be trusted with helping to make community decisions.
The Constitution, the Congress, and the courts have enshrined voting as a central, core, and indispensable element of American citizenship and democracy. As early asthe Supreme Court had ruled in Yick Wo v.
Every state in the United States legally bars non-citizens from voting in national or state elections. The widespread assumption is that voting is the quintessential right of citizenship and that it belongs only to citizens.
The answer is that in recent years a concerted effort to gain acceptance and implement the idea that the United States should allow new immigrants to vote without becoming citizens has been gathering force and adherents. That effort has been spearheaded by an alliance that brings together liberal or progressive academics and law professors, local and state political leaders most often associated with the Democratic or other progressive parties, and community and immigration activists.
They are all working in tandem to decouple having the legal standing to vote from American citizenship. The movement has had some local success. As a result of these efforts, there are several municipalities in the United States that currently allow non-citizens to vote in local elections and legislation to allow non-citizens to vote has been introduced in a number of jurisdictions, including Washington, D.
A number of efforts in other cities and states are underway. Those in favor of allowing non-citizens to vote advance many arguments for their initiatives.
They point out that non-citizen voting was, at one time, allowed in a number early American states and territories and that it is also allowed in other Western democracies. They argue that it is only fair to allow non-citizens to vote since they shoulder many of the responsibilities of citizens, like paying taxes, but are not represented.
And, they say, such initiatives have civic value as a training ground for the responsibilities of citizenship.
In this paper, we examine a number of those claims. The proposals for non-citizen voting that have been put forward vary widely with regard to four key issues: Each of these four key issues carries with it larger implications for the potential impact of non-citizen voting on the immigration process itself and more generally on American political culture.
For example, proposals to allow both legal and illegal immigrants to vote, or the failure to clearly distinguish between them in some proposals, blur the line between citizens and non-citizens and also between legal and illegal immigrants. Also, allowing illegal immigrants to vote would considerably increase the pool of potential non-citizen voters, and that too has significant implications.
The proposals for non-citizen voting also vary on residency rules — stretching from a low of 30 days to a high of three years. Each time period carries with it implications for the number of potential non-citizen voters as well as their civic preparation for exercising that privilege.
Non-citizen voting proposals differ as well on the level of government at which such persons would be allowed to vote — local, state, or federal. These and other elements present in the varied proposals for non-citizen voting raise two basic questions.
First, how prepared are new immigrants to exercise informed judgment about the policy issues that voters face in most elections? Second, what are the implications for immigrants, citizens, and American political culture of allowing non-citizens to vote given the specifics of such proposals?
Local, State, or Federal? Some advocates focus on gaining non-citizens the vote in local school board elections.page2. page3. page4. page5. page6. page7. page8. page9. Message Board. Weekly Poll: The United States Of America, Part Five.
This is the story of how the American Republic developed from colonial beginnings in the 16th century, when the first European explorers arrived, until modern times. An average of , foreigners a day in arrive the United States.
This group includes 3, who have received immigrant visas that allow them to settle and become naturalized citizens after five years, and 99, tourists and business and student visitors. Island records some of the earliest literary expressions of the Chinese in America: poems written and carved into the barrack walls on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, where the immigrants were held for weeks and months while undergoing government scrutiny.
The period was to , when Angel Island was known as the Ellis Island of the West. The history of Chinese Americans or the history of ethnic Chinese in the United States relates to the three major waves of Chinese immigration to the United States with the first beginning in the 19th century.
Chinese immigrants in the 19th century worked as laborers, particularly on the transcontinental railroad, such as the Central Pacific Railroad.
Government collects $23 million. The Canadian government and provinces profited from the hardships their legislation placed on the Chinese. The various head taxes collected over 38 years amassed some $23 million for the government; ironically, this was nearly the amount necessary to pay for the western section of the Canadian Pacific Railway, largely constructed by the Chinese.
Download a pdf version of this Backgrounder Jon Feere is the Legal Policy Analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” -- U.S.
Const. amend. XIV, § 1 Introduction.