Voter suppression is alive and well in 2012.
I’m happy to know that the Department of Justice is looking into the South Carolina voter suppression issue, but I honestly believe all the states that implemented those laws should be investigated as well.
A 93-year-old Tennessee woman who cleaned the state Capitol for 30 years, including the governor’s office, says she won’t be able to vote for the first time in decades after being told this week that herold state ID failed to meet new voter ID regulations.
Thelma Mitchell was even accused of being an undocumented immigrant because she couldn’t produce a birth certificate:
Mitchell, who was delivered by a midwife in Alabama in 1918, has never had a birth certificate. But when she told that to a drivers’ license clerk, he suggested she might be an illegal immigrant.
Thelma Mitchell told WSMV-TV that she went to a state drivers’ license center last week after being told that her old state ID from her cleaning job would not meet new regulations for voter identification.
A spokesman for the House Republican Caucus insisted that Mitchell was given bad information and should’ve been allowed to vote, even with an expired state ID. But even if that’s the case, her ordeal illustrates the inevitable disenfranchisements that result when confusing voting laws enable state officials to apply the law inconsistently.
The incident is the just latest in a series of reports of senior citizens being denied their constitutional right to vote under restrictive new voter ID laws pushed by Republican governors and legislatures. These laws are a transparent attempt to target Democrat constituencies who are less likely to have photo ID’s, and disproportionately affect seniors, college students, the poor and minorities.
As ThinkProgress reported, one 96-year-old Tennessee woman was denied a voter ID because she didn’t have her marriage license. Another senior citizen in Tennessee, 91-year-old Virginia Lasater, couldn’t get the ID she needed to vote because she wasn’t able to stand in a long line at the DMV. A Tennessee agency even told a 86-year-old World War II veteran that he had to pay an unconstitutional poll tax if he wanted to obtain an ID.
Now this guy is seriously exhibiting “the crazy”…
During a Kansas state House Appropriations Committee hearing on state spending for controlling feral swine, GOP state Rep. Virgil Peck suggested that hunters could shoot undocumented immigrants like they do with pigs in order to control illegal immigration:
A legislator said Monday it might be a good idea to control illegal immigration the way the feral hog population has been controlled — with hunters shooting from helicopters.
State Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, said he was just joking, but that his comment did reflect frustration with the problem of illegal immigration. [...]
After one of the committee members talked about a program that uses hunters in helicopters to shoot wild swine, Peck suggested that may be a way to control illegal immigration.
The Lawrence Journal World reports that Peck refused to apologize for the remark. “I was just speaking like a southeast Kansas person,” he said. The Kansas blog Dome on the Range has the audio clip and direct quote of Peck’s remarks. “It looks like to me if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem,” he said
I would agree that is an important bill for “undocumented” youth, who are in this country through no fault of their own, I hope that it will be picked up in the 112th Congress and finally passed.
Senate Republicans on Saturday doomed an effort that would have given hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military.
Sponsors of the Dream Act fell five votes short of the 60 they needed to break through largely GOP opposition and win its enactment before Republicans take over the House and narrow Democrats’ majority in the Senate next month.
President Barack Obama called the vote “incredibly disappointing.”
“A minority of senators prevented the Senate from doing what most Americans understand is best for the country,” Obama said. “There was simply no reason not to pass this important legislation.”
Dozens of immigrants wearing graduation mortarboards watched from the Senate’s visitors gallery, disappointment on their faces, as the 55-41 vote was announced.
“This is a dark day in America,” said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, a spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles. “The Senate has … thrown under the bus the lives and hard work of thousands and thousands of students who love this country like their own home, and, in fact, they have no other home.” More…
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PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer rose to national fame defending the state’s immigration law and warning of rising violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, including a claim that headless bodies were turning up in the Arizona desert.
But the claim has come back to haunt her after her stammering debate performance in which she failed to back it up and ignored repeated questions on the issue from a scrum of reporters.
Brewer has spent the time since backtracking and trying to repair the damage done from her cringe-worthy debate against underdog challenger Terry Goddard.
“That was an error, if I said that,” the Republican told The Associated Press on Friday. “I misspoke, but you know, let me be clear, I am concerned about the border region because it continues to be reported in Mexico that there’s a lot of violence going on and we don’t want that going into Arizona.”
She said she was referring to beheadings and other cartel-related violence in Mexico in comments she made earlier this summer about decapitated bodies found in the state’s southern region.
Brewer’s candidacy caught a big break in April, when she signed a controversial new state immigration law that put local police officers on the front lines of enforcing federal immigration law. At the time, Brewer’s primary campaign faced serious challenges, but signing the bill cleared her path to what proved to be an easy primary win on Aug. 24.
A veteran Arizona political observer said her latest gaffes may not sway many voters but could put a charge into Goddard’s campaign.
“I think it gave him an opening,” said Bruce Merrill, a longtime pollster and retired Arizona State University journalism professor.
Goddard can now play the debate clips over and over as he attacks her competence to lead Arizona.
Today during a Fox News interview about Arizona’s new controversial immigration law, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) commiserated with host Megyn Kelly about all the criticism she’s been receiving from people outside of Arizona. When Kelly asked if the critics have a real “appreciation” for Arizona’s immigration problem, Brewer said “obviously not,” likening it to the state being “under terrorist attacks”:
KELLY: Do you think that these folks who are all noticeably outside of your state, are the ones that I just ticked off, including the President, have an appreciation, governor, for what Arizona has been going through with respect to illegal immigration?
BREWER: Obviously not. You know Arizona has been under terrorist attacks, if you will, with all of this illegal immigration that has been taking place on our very porous border. […] The whole issue comes back, that we do not and will not tolerate illegal immigration bringing with it very much so the implications of crime and terrorism into our state.
The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty has a great article on the Tea Party’s take on “immigration policy”. the site has libertarian views.
It questions the true motives of teabaggers who support Arizona’s new immigration law as well as their support for all government intervention when it comes to immigration policies.
I made some similar points in a post earlier this week. Should one conclude that “teabaggers” are not really “anti-big government” when it comes to immigration issues?
The Free Man Online:
The Arizona law enabling police to ask for immigration papers or proof of citizenship of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally has fanned the flames of an already hot debate over immigration. How these issues play out in the Tea Party movement will be interesting. Polling data indicate that Tea Partiers have a significant anti-immigration element to them. So, will people who claim to dislike big government be consistent and oppose this new law?
That opponents of big government would support immigration control is surprising on its face. Enforcing such laws requires governments, federal or state, to exercise powers that small-government advocates should reject. It’s not that immigration law requires enormous expenditures, or that it dramatically increases the size of government. But it does increase the scope of government power.
Too often forgotten in these debates are the rights of immigrants. Libertarians believe in human rights, not just citizens’ rights or Americans’ rights. People everywhere have, or should have, the right to travel where they wish and to contract for work with whomever they wish. On what grounds do those who profess a belief in freedom prohibit them from doing so? (To anticipate a possible objection: Illegal immigrants are not more likely to commit crimes, and the U.S. crime rate has fallen since the 1987 amnesty program.) People who break the law to look for work in America are mostly trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. Why risk life and limb to come here to go on welfare when they can do the same thing at home without risk? And by what right do we prevent them from trying to make better lives for themselves, just as we would wish for American citizens? The reverence with which supposed opponents of big government treat the artificial lines governments draw is yet another puzzle.