Friday, January 18, 2008
The immigrants ready to vote... on immigration issues





Thelma Gutierrez
360 Correspondent


It was 8:30pm on a bone chilling night in Tucson, Arizona when I walked in to a civics class in the middle of a predominantly Latino neighborhood... a barrio.

There, I met a group of women who had worked as housekeepers and store clerks and babysitters. After a long day at work, they said they looked forward to another two hours of citizenship class to learn our system of government. They fired off answers about how our political process works -- term limits, the role of the Supreme Court and how laws are made.

I asked them if they would vote if they became citizens. They emphatically said yes, especially this year -- why? One woman said it's the first time she has a choice between a woman and an African American.

A top issue? Immigration reform, of course. As I was leaving, one woman explained that as immigrants they felt under assault... and that they realize the only way to change the system is to be a part of it.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service says a record 1.4 million have applied in the past year for naturalization. Now the government has to find a way to process all of them.
Posted By CNN: 2:15 PM ET
  14 Comments
Thelma,
I have no problem with people such as the ones in your story. They are going through the system the right way to become citizens. It is the ones that sneak in and are not citizens yet think they should be given rights in this country. If anyone wants to live here and be a part of this country then they should do it right and by the book.

I am all for securing our borders! There are way too many people coming into this country illegally. That needs to be stopped. There is a process for people to come here and live and it must be followed! No one should be given any special treatments!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 2:57 PM ET
These people had the toughness and daring and nerve to cross an international border and break federal laws. They knew very well what they were doing, and they know very well how good they've got it here in the US, and now they're whining that they feel "under assault"?! Gimme a break.
Posted By Anonymous AJ, Huntington, NY. : 3:21 PM ET
Excuse me. We're letting them assault our American system and throw our laws right back in our faces. We should feel under assault that our hospitals in Ca. are going out of business from unpaid bills sent to these illegals.

I would tell them pay your back income taxes, pay a fine, THEN we'll talk about processing you as citizens.
Posted By Anonymous roxie m. , san jose, ca. : 3:25 PM ET
What "reform" are they talking about?! We're ALREADY letting these people come here without penalty, live here without paying into the revenue system, walk into any hospital in America without ID, drive around without licenses and insurance, and take money OUT of the American economy WITHOUT putting anything into it like us normal taxpaying citizens.

What kind of reform can possibly be more open and liberal and accommodating to these illegals? What are they going to "vote " for --- a free ride for life ? I suspect they want us to clear them of paying fees for having broken the law to begin with!
Posted By Anonymous Anne -Detroit, MI. : 3:34 PM ET
Wow, she knows more about our system then I do.

But it always seems that those who come in to a system take up the obligations more seriously.

I agree with her on the fact that "the only way to change the system is to be a part of it."

I remember from high school that we don't vote directly, we elect delegates and they vote for us?

Maybe a politics 101 for those of us who are finally waking up and wanting to change this system...we just need to know how.

Having Tommy Lee Jones as our Government class sub made learning a bit more fun.
Posted By Anonymous Sabrina in Los Angeles : 3:41 PM ET
Good for them! The stories and people behind the scenes, behind the national political issue, are amazing. We need to hear them..we MUST hear them. And, we must resolve the proper, and legal, handling of all. Check out my article on Discrimination in remembrance of MLK Day.

http://spiritofsaintlewis.blogspot.com/2008/01/discrimination-is-it-okay-i-mean-we-all.html

Lewis
Portland, Oregon
www.spiritofsaintlewis.blogspot.com
Posted By Blogger Lewis : 3:52 PM ET
Throughout American history, new immigrants have cast their votes on immigrant issues. It's a part of what made this country a melting pot and no one should have any problems with legal immigrants voting. All of our ancestors where in the same position at some point in time.

However, this country must do something about the illegal immigration which is an ongoing problem. This situation isn't fair to the naturalized legal immigrants or the natural born citizens of the United States. I can't think of any other country which allows illegal immigrants to cross it's border in such massive numbers.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 4:04 PM ET
I don't think it's so much that we have to change the laws, but we have process people through more quickly. Three to five years sounds about right to me.
Posted By Anonymous Patty , Los Angeles, Ca. : 4:38 PM ET
It's not discriminatory to enforce our laws. Can I go to Europe, demand that they make me a citizen, and insist that they change their laws to accomodate me?
Posted By Anonymous michael s oakland ca. : 6:09 PM ET
with terrorism hiding in the shadows, does anyone think it's a good idea for anyone, from any country, to enter the US without documentation?
Posted By Anonymous john nashville tn : 6:17 PM ET
I can't even write a check for ten dollars worth of groceries without ID verification and we're letting millions of people stream across our borders without identification ????/
Posted By Anonymous Karen Denver Co : 6:21 PM ET
Two reasons to build the fence: the economy of the US is suffering enough- lets not make it worse by giving millions of people who have no respect for our laws all these free government perks and ; if a 20 yr old woman with two babies can make it across the border how easy is it for terrorists to also slip in?
Posted By Anonymous Dan F. -- Waukesha WI : 6:33 PM ET
I see a lot of American spirit in that picture and I hear a lot of passion in her voice -- BUT ... there are laws. You can't have a country without laws.
Posted By Anonymous Nancy - Dover, Me : 6:38 PM ET
They aren't eve citizens yet, and they want to change our country? Yeah, they want to change it to their benefit, not for the good of the nation.
Posted By Anonymous ronnie knoxville, tn. : 8:40 PM ET
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