New York Dem: It's time to give the vote to illegal aliens
Daily Caller tells us it's the first bill of its kind in the nation; giving adults here illegally the opportunity to vote in state and local elections. The legislation is being introduced by state Sen. Guestavo Rivera and is designed to "integrate illegal immigrants, who are estranged from participation in civic, economic and political life."
What could go wrong?
The legislation not only gives illegal immigrants the right to vote, but establishes a kind of second-tiered citizenship on a state level, in which illegal immigrants can apply for tuition assistance, health insurance and driver’s and professional licenses, among other benefits.
“It’s mind-boggling,” says Michael Olivas, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center who specializes in immigration law, according to Businessweek. “I don’t believe there’s ever been a serious attempt to codify so many benefits and opportunities.”
But Rivera is confident that his model is right for New York, and right as a model for the rest of the country, although he admits that the bill “certainly will not pass this session,” comparing it to the development of same-sex marriage legislation.
According to the language in the bill, so long as non-citizens can demonstrate that they have lived and paid taxes in New York for three years, they are eligible for the broad spectrum of benefits available under the legislation.
In order to obtain these benefits, non-citizens would have to take an oath to uphold the constitution of the state and agree to serve on a jury, if requested.
As inspiration for sponsoring the bill, Rivera pointed to concerns about the stagnation of immigration reform in Congress: “With failure at the national level on comprehensive immigration reform, the question we have asked is what can states do?” Rivera said.
A "second tier citizenship"? It's a novel idea - for a country like India that has a caste system. In America, not so much.
Why swear an oath to the state constitution only? And what about federal taxes? Does the illegal alien need to pay those as well in order to be eligible for this special class?
Fortunately, this idea just isn't practicable. By making an illegal alien a de facto citizen of a state, the federal Constitution says that makes the illegal a citizen of the US. The Constitution does not recognize different levels of citizenship - just one of the more outrageous notions contained in this legislation.
Even if it passed, the law would immediately be challenged. It's hard to see any court upholding such a law simply because it ignores numerous federal statutes already on the books.