Thursday, October 28, 2010

New immigration uproar: voters need not prove citizenship

This is a disgrace

"Déjà vu all over again" -- that's how some are reacting after the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled federal law trumps Arizona law when it comes to voter registration.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out an Arizona law requiring would-be voters to prove their citizenship. The judges ruled that the Arizona law conflicts with federal law, which does not require such proof. Under the federal law, a voter applicant has to swear that he or she is a citizen, but does not have to prove it.

The Arizona Advocacy Network was a plaintiff in the 5-year-old lawsuit. Its mission is to encourage civic participation by educating voters. Executive Director Linda Brown welcomed the news. "It's a tremendous victory for Arizonans because democracy works best when more of us participate," Brown said.

Brown said that because of the Arizona law, officials have rejected 40,000 voter applications.

The now-rejected statute made Arizona the most stringent state in the Union when it came to processing voters. Arizona voters approved the measure in 2004. It required documentary proof of citizenship, such as a valid driver's license, passport, state birth certificate or tribal ID.

The Arizona Advocacy group said that nearly 10-percent of Arizonans who should be eligible to vote are not able to obtain such documentation. But now all a voter applicant will have to do is to check a box on the federally-approved voter registration form declaring, under penalty of perjury, that he or she is a citizen.

The federal law does still allow election workers to require voters to show an ID, however.

Supporters of Arizona's voided law reacted swiftly, and angrily, to the ruling. "You have to have ID to vote, so how in the world can they say it's a hardship to have ID to register vote? But, then, it's not a hardship to actually complete process of voting?" questioned Tucson Tea Party founder, Trent Humphries.

KGUN9 News relayed that question to the Viewer Advocacy Network. "How are we preventing illegal immigrants from registering to vote if, in fact, you don't have to show proof of citizenship and you can just check it off (on a form)?" KGUN9's Joel Waldman asked Brown. Her reply: "Well, you do need to show last 4 of social (security number), as well as your full name, address and date of birth."

Anyone convicted of lying about citizenship on the federal voter registration form could face a prison term of up to five years.

Pima County Recorder, F. Ann Rodriguez told KGUN9 News that despite the ruling, for now, protocol will stay the same when it comes to registering voters.

That statement did not sit well with Richard Martinez, a Tucson attorney and civil rights activist who filed one of the lawsuits against SB 1070, Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration. "It actually takes effect now, the decision is controlling," Martinez insisted.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Secretary of State Ken Bennett issued a joint statement saying, "Today's decision should not impact the election on Tuesday, but could impact our registration requirements and the integrity of local elections being conducted beginning as early as this spring, as well as statewide elections in 2012."


Most Australians want an end to population growth

I do myself. I am sick of having to dodge around roadworks for all my life. But a growing population requires roadworks to accomodate more and more cars. And the Australian birthrate is below replacement anyway so it is immigration that is the problem. An immigration program that focused only on highly desirable immigrants and excluded parasitic "refugees" would help solve the problem

FAMILIES should have no more than two children to limit their environmental impact, one in three Australians say. Almost half say families should consider having three or fewer children, a survey shows.

The Australian National University survey found most Australians want the population to stay at or below current levels, suggesting Julia Gillard hit the right note by rejecting Kevin Rudd's "big Australia" push.

ANU political scientist Professor Ian McAllister, who led the survey, said people opposed population growth for a variety of reasons, including the cost to the environment, urban overcrowding and a lack of housing and transport. The phone poll found just 44 per cent of respondents favoured population growth.

About 52 per cent said Australia had enough people already, and further population growth would harm the environment, push up house prices and place pressure on water resources.

But there were also concerns that skills shortages could hold back the economy, with 83 per cent of respondents calling for more skilled migrants to be allowed into Australia.

And two thirds of respondents were concerned about the impact of the ageing population, with the majority opposed to tax rises to support the elderly.

About 59 per cent of Australians supported an emissions trading scheme to curb carbon pollution. But when asked to rank the nation's most pressing problems, the environment and global warming were ranked only fourth after the economy, health care and education.

Mr Rudd, as prime minister, argued for population growth, suggesting the continent could support 36 million people by 2050. Ms Gillard changed course sharply when she became Prime Minister, arguing for a "sustainable population" in an election pitch to the crowded outer suburbs.

She said Population Minister Tony Burke would deliver a sustainable population strategy. "We made an election promise about a sustainable population policy and we'll deliver it," she said.

Greens Leader Bob Brown said something had to be done to limit population growth or the planet was in trouble. "When I came on to the planet there were 2 1/2 billion human beings, there are now seven billion. We are using more than 100 per cent of the renewable living resources at the moment. Something is going to give."

The ANU poll is a quarterly survey and compares Australian results to international opinion polls.


No comments:

Post a Comment