Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
Americans have been limiting immigration since 1790, and started the immigration service in 1891 to really put the brakes on who was getting into the U.S. They wanted God-fearing Europeans for the most part, and certainly none of those Chinese or more Blacks. However, citizenship still had to be acquired before an immigrant became a full member of society, including voter's rights, but many immigrants, even though they were here legally, never became citizens. The U.S. Constitution leaves voting requirements up to the States, and nothing in the Constitution limits voting to citizens, though citizens can't be prevented from voting while non-citizens can be. Up until 1875, 22 States allowed non-citizens to vote nationally, but by 1926, all States had excluded them. In 1996, a federal law was passed limiting voting only to citizens in federal elections, however, the Supreme Court disallowed citizenship checks before voting so it becomes a post hoc enforcement issue with few actual examples of penalties.
For local elections, States have their own rules, and even cities can enfranchise whoever they want. In recent years, the argument has not been about whether only citizens should be allowed to vote, but about Illegal Immigrants, who are obviously not citizens, so the citizenship canard is used against them. Cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and small cities around America already allow Illegal Immigrants to vote, though no States do, and some Western nations, Denmark and New Zealand for example, allow non-citizens to vote. It makes sense that the people who live together vote together, regardless of citizenship or residency status, but there is the fear that unfettered Illegal Immigration that reorganizes whole communities through voting will lead to a culture clash so severe that it becomes divisive, degrading society cohesiveness rather than improving it, the opposite of what voting is intended to do.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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