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Sunday, July 20

Where's the Justice Department when you need them?

I'll show them voter suppression

From the San Jose Mercury News comes a story about Santa Clara County immigrants who are becoming citizens. Just before their naturalization ceremonies they were given voter registration cards and shown how to fill them out. After the ceremony, when the immigrants became citizens they were collected. Santa Clara County officials were pleased as punch that they could offer this service to new citizens. It really is quite patriotic, I would say.

In March, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, surprise surprise) declared that those cards must not be handed out until after the
ceremony. Voter registration has dropped 82% in Santa Clara County as a result. In fact in the four months before march 3,140 new voters were registered. In March and since then, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services staff were rushing people out the door while they were still filling out their voter registration cards. Only 8% registered in June's ceremony.

A spokes-shill for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service after realizing that they might be faced with a lawsuit, claimed that the facilities are too crowded and that it wasn't a political thing to suppress those who wish to register to vote. The CIS feels that they shouldn't hand out cards before the ceremony.
Registrar officials say they used the "down time" before the naturalization ceremonies to give a PowerPoint presentation showing how to complete a voter-registration affidavit. It made the process go smoothly, particularly for immigrants who are still struggling with English, registrar officials said. Bilingual assistance was also made available.
Now the immigrants don't have their cards in front of them when the PP presentation is given and they can't stick around after the ceremony to fill out the cards. And there you go. Democracy at work in America under the bushistas.

Here's the complete story.

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