America -- we used to be a beacon of freedom to the world. Today states are saying: Not so fast citizen -- first jump through these many hoops.
Advancement Project -- Voter Protection Program -- Sept 24, 2012
[pg 1 ...]"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
This report finds that 23 states currently have legal barriers that disproportionately impact voter registration and participation by Latino citizens. These obstacles could deter or prevent more than 10 million Latino citizens from registering and voting in the 2012 elections. In many states, the number of eligible Latino citizens that could be affected by these barriers exceeds the margin of victory of the 2008 presidential election. In Florida, for example, eligible Latino voters amount to nine times the 2008 margin of victory, and in Colorado, the number of eligible Latino voters is twice the 2008 margin of victory. These are among the 23 states that have enacted voter suppression policies impacting Latinos. (See Table 4 in Section III, infra.)
The types of voter suppression laws and policies analyzed in this report are:
(1) Alleged noncitizen voter purges of registered voters (in 16 states), which target naturalized citizens and may violate equal protection guarantees. Communities of color, specifically Black, Latino and Asian Americans, form a large percentage of naturalized citizens in states pursuing these purges, with Latinos comprising the largest percentage in most. (See Table 2 in Section II.A.)
(2) Proof of citizenship requirements for voter registration (in effect in Georgia, and pending in Alabama and Arizona), which impose onerous and sometimes expensive documentation requirements on prospective voter registrants. These laws target naturalized citizens, many of whom are Latino. (See Section II.B)
(3) Restrictive photo ID laws in 9 states, which similarly impose costs in time and money for millions of Latino citizens who do not have the required documents. (See Table 4 in Section III)
-- uniquely identified with the Statue of Liberty and is inscribed on a plaque in the museum in the base.
Addendum: Just don't expect our newly naturalized citizens to be able to vote freely.
Take the case of naturalized citizen Karla Vanessa Arcia -- who was purged from the Florida voter rolls, apparently for having an ethnic name ...
by Judith Browne Dianis and Penda D. Hair, co-directors, Advancement Project -- 09/24/12
That’s the message sent to Florida resident and naturalized citizen Karla Vanessa Arcia earlier this year when her name was wrongly placed on a list of ineligible voters. Miami-Dade County’s supervisor of elections sent Arcia a letter, giving her 30 days to prove her citizenship and residency. This list, developed to identify non-citizens, erroneously included many eligible voters who are Latino. Florida’s flawed purge list showed that liberty, at least as exercised at the polling booth, was far less secure than it should be.
A nation embracing its cherished freedoms and liberties would embrace all of its citizens, including the newest Americans, and encourage full participation in the electoral process. The result, no matter the outcome of any particular election, would be a thriving democracy and an example for the world. But lawmakers pushing the new restrictive laws and regulations have had a different reaction to the specter of increased participation from Latinos.
Their response has been a coordinated onslaught intended to lessen participation by Latinos. The purge lists targets naturalized citizens in 16 states. Another four states -- Alabama, Arizona, Georgia and Tennessee -- have instituted additional proof of citizenship requirements. And nine states have adopted extremely restrictive voter ID laws, which also have a disproportionate effect on Latinos and other eligible voters of color as the additional documentation and costs introduce additional barriers to voting.
America used to aspire to greatness -- a land of opportunity where all seekers were encourage to make their own way. To build a better life for their families and children.
Hopefully someday soon, we will return to that greatness once again -- where ALL are welcome. Goodness knows we have fought many difficult struggles for these very freedoms ... to stand by and watch them taken away ... now by the millions.
Over 140 years ago, in response to the Dred Scott decision denying citizenship to former slaves and their descendants, the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was enacted to guarantee the right to citizenship -- including voting rights -- for all persons born within the United States and subject to its jurisdiction:Latino Voter Disenfranchisment in 2012 (pdf)
“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 in which they reside.” U.S. Const. Amend. XIV, § 1.