As California goes, so goes the country?
Santa Fe progressives take notice. The Department of Justice has indicated that the current lawsuit filed against California is just the first of other suits that may be filed against states and cities that obstruct immigration enforcement. That could also involve sanctuary cities in New Mexico.
The suit has brought several interesting comments from progressive politicians in California. Among them is a comment from junior U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, who succeeded Barbara Boxer. In a recent MSNBC interview, she said, “California’s going to fight because the state represents the future.”
The nationwide RESIST movement is opposing U.S. immigration law, which is clearly defined in our Constitution as belonging to federal jurisdiction. The sanctuary declarations passed by cities and states are an attempt to supersede or nullify federal law, and are rightly seen as unconstitutional.
Santa Fe officials have adamantly reinforced its sanctuary city policy, which may cause the city fathers some heartburn, if not money. Albuquerque and the state have wisely ended their sanctuary position.
The progressives’ sanctuary agenda is not over human or immigrant rights; it is an incremental attempt to eventually register noncitizen voters. And California is the model state where globalists and progressives are attempting to nullify federal voting requirements by first claiming immigration law is a state’s rights issue.
Sure to follow will be an effort to secure voting rights for non-U.S. citizens by claiming “discrimination” under the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 and granting all state residents the right to vote in elections, without discrimination.
Progressives often advance the thought, “If you live here and pay taxes here, you should be able to vote here.” While that may sound reasonable to some, it is not even close to the real-world experience. If you are a noncitizen of Mexico or Canada, try voting there. Or try slipping into Mexico and find out what happens to you. How about applying for welfare in other countries or enrolling in a Mexican high school or university as an illegal immigrant. You can’t.
Merit-based immigration with quotas is a Trump agenda opposed by progressives because it cuts the numbers of possible future voters.
If California is allowed to set the precedent of nullifying federal immigration law, it becomes a short hop to nullifying federal voting law. Should California’s progressives decide residency, not citizenship, is the only qualifier to being a registered voter, then a legitimate vote count of American citizens in federal elections will become impossible to tally. If other progressive-led states follow California, then election outcomes could become a noncitizen takeover of this country.
In 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law California’s motor voter act, which requires no federal documentation, like Social Security numbers, for residents to obtain a driver’s license and become registered voters. The True the Vote organization, which monitors voter fraud, said this law only worsens voter fraud in California and could give noncitizens an opportunity to vote fraudulently in federal elections.
These incremental moves by progressives in California are intended to make way for the issuance of voter registrations to immigrant residents for local elections; but there will be no real way to determine if the citizenship requirement is met should they vote in federal elections.
In 2017, New Mexico did pass a new motor voter law requiring verification of social security and citizenship status, placing it in the hands of the Secretary of State, who then notifies the county clerks of a person’s eligibility to receive voter registration.
Progressive values like sanctuary cities may sound appealing, but before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, jobseekers and, yes, American voters.
Tom Wright is a political commentator and columnist in Santa Fe