CROSS-BORDER VOTING RIGHTS
June 23, 2004
Mexican President Vicente Fox will propose a law allowing Mexican citizens living abroad to vote in the 2006 election. But allowing Mexicans living in the United States illegally to vote back home will discourage their assimilation into American culture, says Investors Business Daily (IBD).
Absentee voting is convenient in many situations, but Mexico is a special case:
- Some 10 million Mexicans live in the United States, legal and otherwise.
- Many Mexican immigrants see no reason to assimilate: In Los Angeles County, 3.3 million of the area's 8.8 million households are Spanish-speaking.
- Mexicans in the United States also send home almost $13.3 billion per year, about 2 percent of Mexico's GDP.
Allowing Mexican emigrants to vote works against efforts to assimilate them into mainstream American culture, says IBD. Furthermore, Mexico would rather depend on emigration to take care of its surplus labor problem than improve its economy and create more jobs.
While Mexico has a right to make its own voting rules, the United States can enforce policies that encourage immigrant assimilation, like ending bilingual education and punishing the hiring of illegal workers, says IBD.
Source: Editorial, "Norte Mexico," Investor's Business Daily, June 18, 2004.
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