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Immigration and voting

October 23, 2006

Re "Letter Warns Latinos About Voting," Oct. 17

I deplore the letter that was sent to people in Orange County advising that "immigrants cannot vote." Immigrants who are naturalized citizens can legally vote and should be encouraged to exercise their right to participate in the democratic process. However, those who are soft on illegal immigration ought not to come down so hard on the person who wrote that letter. After all, many of their ideological kinfolk have difficulty with some fundamental immigration concepts as well, such as the distinction between an immigrant and an illegal alien.


San Pedro


What's all the fuss about? The letter states: "You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time."

A foreigner who enters or remains in the U.S. in violation of our immigration laws is an illegal alien. A foreigner who has been granted the right of residency under those laws is an immigrant. An immigrant who has been naturalized under those laws is a citizen.

Neither illegal aliens nor immigrants are permitted to vote.

That right, and privilege, is reserved for U.S. citizens.




How ironic and sad that congressional candidate Tan Nguyen, a Vietnamese immigrant, should be embroiled in the campaign strategy to exclude Latino voters through intimidation and racism. The irony lies in the fact that Latinos disproportionately died while trying to defend South Vietnam from communism. It is those very people Nguyen is attacking. Such insensitivity and xenophobia have no place in a country such as ours.


San Marino

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