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Tag: citizenship

Fabiano Farias: I’m a long-term UK resident. So why shouldn’t I have a vote?

Fabiano Farias is a Brazilian national, and has worked in cleaning, delivery, and private transport.

In April this year, a Brazilian friend living in Scotland told me they had just registered to vote for the upcoming elections. Excited, I rushed online to register for the London Mayoral elections only to discover I didn’t have the right.

During the 14 years I have lived in the UK, I have worked in a variety of jobs: cleaner, waiter, Uber driver, Amazon delivery, and Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and Stuart rider. I have always followed politics closely: hours driving gives you plenty of time to pay attention to the news. I also believe that as a resident, it’s my responsibility to know what the key issues are, new policies I should follow, and what I can do to support my community. This is key for me to be a full part of the place I choose to call home.

I have no intention of returning to Brazil. My life, my family members, my partner, and my closest friends are in the UK. At every opportunity, I like to travel within the UK, visiting museums, castles, and learning about the history.

There is, however, one thing I have not been able to do yet, and that is vote in elections. I do look forward to saving and applying to become a naturalised British citizen in the future. This, however, is a complex, long, and expensive process. There are more local elections happening next year, and I would like to have a say now.

As a courier, I have been affected by the implementation of the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs). Delivery and taxi drivers working to tight deadlines were not consulted about these, and yet are the ones most affected. Similarly, the congestion charge increase to £15 is another blow to those like us who are out on the streets day in day out. If that wasn’t enough, the extended Ultra Low Emission Zone affects those who have no option but to gain their livelihoods in private transport. Before the day starts, many of us are already £27 in debt.

Housing is another issue Londoners face. Prices keep going up unmatched by housebuilding.

I was excited by Shaun Bailey’s manifesto before the London Mayoral elections, and equally upset that I do not have the vote. As someone who works hard, I believe in the Conservative Party and its goal to reward those who put the time and effort into what they do.

I believe, as a long term resident who cares about London and the community where I live, I should have the right to vote in local elections where the impact of policies can often be so directly and visibly felt. I was happy to see that residents were given the right to vote in the Senedd and Holyrood elections and thought the rest of the UK would soon follow, especially now that the UK is out of the European Union.

Many other countries across the world also offer residents, and not just citizens, the right to vote in local elections. New Zealand goes as far as giving all residents the right to vote in national elections. I believe residence-based voting rights, at least in local elections, is an inevitable development considering places like London and the whole of the UK are so globalised.

As a Brazilian migrant in the UK, I often felt it was unfair that EU citizens had so many privileges over other migrants, including having the right to vote in local elections. With the Government’s promises of a future Global Britain, all residents, no matter where they were born, should be given a chance to have their say in their communities and how the public services they pay for through council tax are run. This is not necessarily about giving migrants the vote. It’s about giving residents, neighbours, workers, and service users, equal rights, as well as responsibilities.

I know the administration of elections in the UK is being reviewed with the Elections Bill and there are calls for all residents to have the right to vote in local elections. I hope these are adopted by the Government so people like me have the right to vote in local elections. It would certainly increase my sense of belonging in the UK. Integration is rightly encouraged by politicians. The right to vote would help develop that sense of active participation.

Often, it is assumed that migrants will not vote Conservative. It’s unwise to assume. Migrants are a diverse community with different realities and experiences. It’s only fair we are given the chance to make our different voices heard.

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US Citizenship and Immigration Services Announces New Requirement for Unvaccinated Immigrants


 September 14, 2021 at 1:38pm

Immigrants will need to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in order to apply for welfare benefits in the U.S. starting on Oct. 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Tuesday.

Immigrants who will require medical examinations to access benefits including lawful permanent residency and green cards will need a COVID-19 vaccine ahead of their appointments, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The agency made the change to be in compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for those who perform medical exams.

“That update requires applicants subject to the immigration medical examination to complete the COVID-19 vaccine series (one or two doses, depending on the vaccine) and provide documentation of vaccination to the civil surgeon before completion of the immigration medical examination,” USCIS said in a statement.

Immigrants may be able to avoid getting vaccinated to access benefits if they are too young or have a medical condition that prevents them from getting the vaccine.


$181 Million Settlement Means Americans in 24 States Who Bought Chicken Between 2009 and 2020 Could Be Eligible for Payout

The immigrants could also avoid vaccination if doses are in limited supply in the region and waiting would cause a “significant delay” if they waited to receive a shot.

“In general, individuals applying to become a lawful permanent resident, and other applicants as deemed necessary, must undergo an immigration medical examination to show they are free from any conditions that would render them inadmissible under the health-related grounds,” according to USCIS.

Immigrants can apply for “individual waivers based on religious beliefs or moral convictions” on a case-by-case basis.

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A version of this article appeared on the Daily Caller News Foundation website.

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Durbin: Dems offering path to citizenship in filibuster-proof bill because ‘we need workers’ in US

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said Tuesday his conference is offering a path to citizenship in the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation bill, despite the cost to taxpayers in the form of government assistance programs because “we need workers” in various sectors of the U.S. economy.

Republicans have argued that much of the worker shortage has resulted from the expanded safety net during the pandemic, such as the continuation of the $300 bonus federal jobless benefits that recently ended. 

Throughout the summer, small businesses around the country started offering signing bonuses as a way to encourage individuals to accept job offers. The grocery store chain Harris Teeter recently announced it is reducing store hours due to the worker shortage.

Durbin pointed out that a comprehensive immigration reform bill hasn’t been signed into law since former President Ronald Reagan’s time in office. Former President George W. Bush rolled out an immigration reform plan but it stalled in Congress. There was also a bipartisan effort to pass an immigration bill in the Senate under former President Obama but it failed.

“This immigration bill does have a cost associated with it. If more and more people become legal permanent residents, they quality for some government programs, but all of the leading economists agree that for every dollar that is paid out in a federal program to a legal permanent resident, $10 are returned to the economy because they’ll be able to work and buy homes,” Durbin said during a news conference.

“We need workers in America. These people are in America already. They are the DREAMers, the TPS [holders], the agriculture workers, they are the ones who are in the essential workforce that kept us whole during this pandemic,” he added.

The Senate parliamentarian has not ruled on whether a path to citizenship can be offered in the final reconciliation bill.

“We’re continuing the discussions with her,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

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Who Is a “Natural Born Citizen”? The Question of Birthright Citizenship | Beyond the Cover

In Episode #10 of Beyond the Cover, Gary Benoit interviews Steve Byas about his feature article “Who Is a ‘Natural Born Citizen’? The Question of Birthright Citizenship” in the September 6, 2021 issue of The New American. Though questions about natural-born and birthright citizenship may sound arcane and academic, they are hugely important. For example, the U.S. Constitution says that only a natural-born citizen may serve as president. Is Kamala Harris a natural-born citizen? Steve Byas, an accomplished historian, is a professor at Randall University in Oklahoma where he teaches history and government.

To order the September 6 issue of The New American, click here.

To subscribe to The New American, click here.

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Getty Museum’s Good Citizenship after Stolen-Art Scandal

Burned by a scandal over stolen antiquities, the Getty now leads the way in transparency and philanthropy.


ast year, I wrote about Getty staff’s tantrums after the Floyd murder in Minneapolis. An entitled, surly, ungrateful, and, I suspect, large part of the Getty staff badgered the Getty’s top brass to endorse and then to celebrate the Black Lives Matter racket. The Getty’s leadership wisely declined at first, understanding that BLM is not a mantra but a brand, an organization, and a fundraising machine about which we still know very little. The Getty, as a nonprofit, mustn’t get involved in politics. The death of the fentanyl addict and violent ex-con Floyd, however filmed and gruesome, was a matter

(Photo: Elizabeth Daniels, © J. Paul Getty Trust)

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Pol says she was barred from photographing tent city for Afghan refugees

Military officials blocked a Republican lawmaker from taking photos inside a New Mexico refugee camp where Afghan immigrants are free to leave anytime — even though 14 have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report Wednesday.

US Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NM) told the Daily Mail that she was granted a tour of the tent city set up at the Holloman Air Force Base outside Alamogordo on Tuesday after initially being denied access, and saw 150 refugees get off a Southwest Airlines flight.

“They get them off the plane, they showed us the process,” she said.

“They’re fatigued, they’re tired, they’re hungry. They right away give them a refreshment, you know, water, some food, then they go through a very quick screening.”

Herrell told the Mail that she was prevented from photographing conditions inside the camp, although the Defense Department’s US Northern Command posted select photos of the visit on its official Twitter account.

Herrell reportedly described seeing tents that covered “several thousand square feet” and were sectioned off with heavy black plastic to create sleeping quarters, as well as a multi-purpose room, a cafeteria and showers.

US officials have said they’re building “eight small cities” to house a total of 50,000 Afghan refugees at military bases across the country, with the largest contingent — about 8,800 — at US Army Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin.

Herrell said that of the 2,000 refugees at Holloman AFB, “they had 14 positive COVID tests,” after which those people were quarantined.

But there is nothing preventing any other refugees from leaving except for a rule that says if “they leave, they can’t come back,” Herrell said.

“They are unable to hold them there against their will,” she said.

“[When] the Afghan refugee wants to leave the base, they absolutely can.”

Officials “don’t expect very many of them to leave,” however, because refugees at the base are being fast-tracked for immigration processing, with those holding Special Immigrant Visas — for having been employed by or on behalf of the US government — eligible for permanent residency, Herrell said.

“President Biden, as I understand that, wants to give these, these Afghans actual status, you know, citizenship status so that they can vote,” she added.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, immigrants to the US can apply for naturalization to become citizens after five years as lawful permanent residents.

Herrell is among several GOP lawmakers who are drafting a letter to Biden to express their “grave concern about the rushed and incomplete vetting of Afghan evacuees being brought to the United States,” according to a draft version obtained by the Mail.

“We absolutely have a responsibility to honor our promise to help the Afghan nationals and their families,” Herrell said.

“That’s absolutely priority, but we also have a priority to ensure the system is going to work and that we’re not going to find ourselves setting America up for another attack.”

She added: “It just rings, you know, an alarm bell because we understand that there’s not that much data available…There’s some incredible people there but, you know, it only takes one.”

During a Wednesday briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the vetting process for Afghan refugees, who are subjected to background checks in a third country, such as Germany or Qatar, before they’re brought to the US, the Mail said.

“We’re not going to allow flights that have hundreds of people who [we] don’t know who they are, who haven’t been…through security protocols, where we haven’t seen the manifest, to land on US military bases,” Psaki reportedly said.

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Honor Labor Leaders Who Won Citizenship for Puerto Ricans

It is a little-known fact that over a century ago, a coalition of labor movement leaders led the charge to extend U.S. citizenship to the people of Puerto Rico. This Labor Day, we should honor the legacy of this hard-fought victory, while recognizing that the 3.2 million U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico today are still being denied full equality, democracy and voting rights over 100 years after becoming citizens of our great nation. This blemish on American democracy can and must be corrected by Congress, and the best way to do so is by passing the Puerto Rico Statehood Admissions Act, H.R. 1522 in the House and S. 780 in the Senate.

During the Spanish-American War of 1898, the U.S. acquired Puerto Rico as a territory. And while it was commonly understood that any territory that was expected to potentially become a state would be granted citizenship and the rights thereof, many in positions of power in the early 1900s opposed citizenship for Puerto Ricans due to racist ideas.

The question of citizenship for new territories came to the Supreme Court in what are now known as the “insular cases.” The insular cases decreed that territories like Puerto Rico would not be incorporated into the U.S. or their residents be given American citizenship without an act of Congress. The inherent racism of the time was clear in the opinions from the Supreme Court, which stated Puerto Rico was “inhabited by alien races,” and President Theodore Roosevelt labeling those in the territories as “mere savages.”

Thankfully, those on the island, particularly labor leaders, did not take this silently.

Santiago Iglesias was a Spanish-born labor organizer in Puerto Rico who later became the island’s resident commissioner in Congress and founder of the Puerto Rico Socialist Party (a pro-union party). He joined together with Samuel Gompers, the first president of the American Federation of Labor, to fight for the passage of legislation to grant U.S. citizenship to those living in Puerto Rico.

Through persistent and aggressive advocacy, barely a month before the U.S. entered World War I in 1917 the Jones-Shafroth Act was signed into law granting U.S. citizenship to those who lived and were born in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, despite this change in status, Puerto Ricans continued to live as second-class American citizens without voting representation in Congress, without the right to vote for president and without equal treatment under federal laws. This is why Santiago Iglesias did not stop there. After being elected resident commissioner under a coalition of his Socialist Party with the Union Republican Party, in 1934 the non-voting representative in Congress introduced the very first bill for Puerto Rico’s admission as a state.

The second Puerto Rico statehood admission bill was introduced by my great-grandfather Bolivar Pagán, who succeeded Iglesias in Congress and then won reelection to a full term as resident commissioner. The fight for statehood and equal treatment under the law that was waged by labor leaders like Iglesias and my great-grandfather is still going on today.

Puerto Rico’s current status as a territory has limited the island’s economic development potential by imposing structural disadvantages before it can even begin to compete in the free market. The uncertainty about Puerto Rico’s future, which could still technically be made an independent republic, is a systemic risk that limits investment on the island. And the inequality under federal laws and programs means that local wages, income levels, workforce participation rates and the social safety net are all well below stateside standards.

That is why it should surprise nobody that in November 2020, when those on the island went to the polls and were asked if they wanted Puerto Rico to be admitted to the union as a state, the clear majority voted in favor. This vote came on the heels of two others in 2017 and 2012, where voters also rejected the current territory status and favored statehood among the non-territory options.

It is far past time for Congress to act. Our U.S. senators and representatives have the power to fix this century-long injustice. On this Labor Day, let’s honor the labor leaders who bravely advocated for U.S. citizenship for Puerto Rico by passing the Puerto Rico Statehood Admissions Act and finally make good on America’s founding promises of government by consent of the governed and equal justice under the law for our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.

George Laws Garcia is a former adviser to two governors of Puerto Rico and to Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner in the House of Representatives. He currently serves as the executive director of the Puerto Rico Statehood Council. Follow him on Twitter: @LawsPR51

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“Integral Citizenship” Accepted for Publication

Cassandra Burke Robertson and I have a new article up entitled “Integral Citizenship,” which analyzes birthright citizenship in the U.S. Territories and is forthcoming in the Texas Law Review. This piece joins our previous articles on citizenship “(Un)Civil Denaturalization,” “Litigating Citizenship,” and “Inalienable Citizenship.” The abstract is here:

Does the Constitution’s promise of birthright citizenship to all born “in the United States” cover the United States Territories? Residents of the Territories have regularly sought judicial recognition of their equal birthright citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment, most recently in some prominent cases reaching federal appellate courts. When rejecting these claims, the courts have been unable or unwilling to articulate a unified theory of citizenship. Most problematically, judicial decisions have continued relying on the Insular Cases, whose reasoning over a century ago was explicitly based on a policy of racial exclusion.

We argue that the time has come for unambiguous judicial recognition that individuals born in the U.S. Territories form an integral part of the United States citizenry. This outcome is the only one that comports with both constitutional structure and historical practice. In analyzing why courts still deny claims for constitutional citizenship in the Territories, we explore the covert norms of belonging that shed light on the otherwise inexplicable logic of the courts’ opinions. For example, there is no legal reason to treat the citizenship of those born in the U.S. Territories differently from that of those born in Washington, D.C. Nevertheless, an asymmetrical perception of belonging has flowed into the courts’ construction of legal status, influencing whose citizenship is questioned and whose is assumed.

Although some judges and government officials have recently put forth new arguments that citizenship recognition would risk interfering with indigenous rights and endangering cultural practices, we argue that the opposite is more likely to be true. Attempting to retrofit a doctrine built on the political and social exclusion of racial minorities cannot offer durable cultural protection. By contrast, a unified national civic identity that recognizes the Territories as a fundamental part of the American fabric is more likely to foster the political will to protect indigenous rights. Recognizing the Fourteenth Amendment’s promise of integral citizenship ensures that anyone whose birth location entails allegiance to the United States—be it the U.S. Territories or Washington, D.C.—is equally American.

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Citizenship, Immigration, and Race in Biden’s America

The partisans push for the end of voting.

As thousands of illegal migrants from all over the world invade this country—some of them sick with Covid-19 and some surely criminals—they are not just unstopped by border patrol agents (acting under the president’s orders) but actually encouraged by the president himself to come illegally. Meanwhile, Attorney General Merrick Garland has issued a warning to states about…voting rights.

We pause for just a moment to burn three pinches of incense (four, and we’d have to get EPA approval) to the great goddess of Delay who kept Garland off the Supreme Court. Garland, dishonestly promoted by his backers as a “moderate,” is a rabid partisan you wouldn’t want to see serving on a traffic court.

Garland’s “warning” about voting rights was just left-wing Biden administration blather. “The right of all eligible citizens to vote is a central pillar of our democracy, and the Justice Department will use all the authorities at its disposal to zealously guard that right,” he said.

The point of his remarks, of course, was to scare black Americans and divide the country. States have been passing sensible voting laws designed to prevent the chaos deliberately engineered by Democrats before the 2020 election—under the guise of making it easier to vote during the Wuhan pandemic—from happening again. That’s why Democrats are cranking up new Chinese Flu restrictions now: so they’ll be in a better position to loosen voting requirements again before the 2022 elections.

Speaking at the National Constitutional Center in Philadelphia on July 13, Biden said there is “an unfolding assault taking place in America today, an attempt to suppress and subvert the right to vote. We’re facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole—since the Civil War.”

And neither is this hyperbole: That’s a load of hay.

But Biden and Garland have a problem: the Supreme Court recently upheld a new Arizona voting law that will make it harder to cheat. A newspiece in the New York Times put it this way:

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave states new latitude to impose restrictions on voting, using a ruling in a case from Arizona to signal that challenges to laws being passed by Republican legislatures that make it harder for minority groups to vote would face a hostile reception from a majority of the justices.

But an NBC columnist, Scott Lemieux, no doubt expressed the Times’s real thinking:

On the last day of its current term, the Supreme Court…continued its war on voting rights with its decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. And though Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion attempted to strike a modest tone while giving states more leeway to make it harder for people of color to vote, it is clear that this court will smile upon even the worst vote suppression efforts being undertaken by Republican legislatures.

So what’s a poor Biden administration to do? Answer: try to scare black Americans into thinking racism is rampant in the Republican Party while flooding the country with illegal aliens to whom, in the name of equity, the right to vote should be given.

You have to admire the chutzpah of the Democrats—and wonder if Republicans have any of their own. Democrats complain about voting laws, while not enforcing immigration laws. The federal government is supposed to enforce those laws by “arresting, detaining, and removing noncitizens.” When was the last time that happened? Where is Merrick Garland when the law is undeniably being broken, and to a massive extent?

The number of illegal aliens crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is at the highest level in more than 20 years, and many of them have Covid-19—but hey! Who cares? U.S. Customs and Border Protection has said it caught more than 180,000 migrants in May. That was up from 178,000 in April and 172,000 in March, and in fact was the largest monthly total since April 2000.

Why? Because Biden discontinued a number of Trump’s immigration policies, especially constructing a wall at the border and requiring migrants seeking asylum to remain in Mexico while they wait for their cases to be heard.

The Biden administration is currently flying illegals from Texas to other places—mostly to Republican states, apparently. Then the Democrats will push to grant them all citizenship and—presto!—Democrats will win elections until the country collapses.

Here is some icing on their cake: a guest essay in the New York Times by a far-out left-winger named Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, described as “a journalist who has written extensively about citizenship.” Her piece is titled: “There Is No Good Reason You Should Have to Be a Citizen to Vote.” Do not read it unless you’re on life support and not expected to survive.

Now do you get it? The Biden administration intends to flood the country with lawbreakers, promise them amnesty from precisely the lawbreaking that got them here, and then let them vote by sending in a Corn Flakes box top with an “X” on it.

We’ll see how long Garland’s “eligible citizens” voting standard retains any meaning in the most woke administration in history. And how long this country, the Land of Hope, will survive when voting is uncoupled from citizenship and a belief in the rule of law.

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the Board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was executive editor and subsequently chairman of the Board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National ReviewEmail Daniel Oliver at [email protected]

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Vaccine Resister ‘Patriots’ Failing Test of Good Citizenship

The COVID epidemic is, in its own way, a test of good citizenship. And it is a test that many ‘patriots’ are failing.


ne of the vexations of American political thinking is single-serving libertarianism, encountered regularly on both the left and the right.

Single-serving libertarianism is what you’re seeing when an abortion-rights advocate argues for “choice” on one issue and one issue only but is all too happy to advocate coercion on related issues, e.g., forcing Americans to fund abortions through tax subsidies or forcing employers to provide abortifacient coverage in their health-insurance packages. Single-serving libertarianism was part of the gay-marriage debate until it wasn’t: What goes on in the bedrooms of private citizens was their business until, by God, it was literally your

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