Sunday, November 20, 2005

Illegals to Vote?

Last week, the New York City Council, in an unprecedented act of anti-sovereign shortsightedness, heard testimony on a proposed bill that would allow most or all of New York City's immigrant population to vote in municipal elections. The bill was short on detail, of course, and did not differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants. And it had vocal endorsements from the following intellectual powerhouses:
Among those testifying in support of the bill was Bryan Pu-Folkes,
executive director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment.

"In New York City, 20% of New Yorkers, or one of every five adults, are
disenfranchised because of their citizenship status," he argued.

Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) voiced strong support for the bill,
contending that resistance to allowing noncitizens to vote is motivated by a
reluctance of whites to give up power.

White men just have too much power," he commented. "They just don't want to
give up on power."
Yikes.

Fortunately, people who actually know the law and Constitution of New York State (I mean, you can't actually expect members of the City Council to know their state's laws or Constitution, can you?) immediately went on record to point out that it was both likely unconstitutional and certainly illegal, and was bad policy to boot.

This situation, while fleeting (and likely to go nowhere, for the time being), reveals the horrid downside to this nation's complete inaction on the question of illegal immigration for the last quarter of a century. Republicans and Democrats alike have ignored the question for the sake of political expediency, and in the hopes that the problem would go away on its own. Well, it hasn't, and it won't. And the drawback to doing nothing is that you wind up having to deal with city councils across the fruited plain that think it is completely normal and acceptable to grant the franchise to non-citizens, the vast majority of whom have broken the law by the very act of entering our country without permission.

The illegal immigration problem is bigger than the scope of this post, but I would note with the slightest bit of optimism that this issue is becoming increasingly important to American citizens, and politicians of all stripes will have to come to grips with the fact that the issue upon which they have abdicated for so long must be dealt with, and soon.

In sum: We need a fence.

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