Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Garrett vs. Legal Immigrants in a Nutshell

As reported by the Express-Times, Representative Scott Garrett took questions from high school students yesterday. In defending his vote against The Voting Rights Act, Garrett had this to say.
"I'm looking out for the American citizens who were born here legally," Garrett said.
I guess naturalized citizens don't count in Garrett's world.

I made a point during the campaign to try and dispel the myth that all immigrants must pass an English test in order to become citizens. If you look at page 99 of "Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants" it details the exemptions to taking the language and civics tests. When you read comments like Garrett's or this little gem from Newt Gingrich over the weekend, you have to realize they don't know the facts:

"Citizenship requires passing a test on American history in English. If that's true, then we do not have to create ballots in any language except English," he said.

Since that's not true, Mr. Gingrich must agree that ballots should be printed in multiple languages. With citizenship, whether by birth or naturalization, comes the right to vote and the government is compelled to prevent discrimination and exclusion. I still think Garrett's vote against the Voting Rights Act is one of the most deplorable actions he's ever taken on our behalf, and I'm glad the students at Warren Hills Regional High School took him to task over it.

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