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Monday, July 03, 2006 

Illegal Status Hinders Mexican Voting Bloc

Illegal Status Hinders Mexican Voting Bloc > In a Mexican presidential election so close the winner won't be named for days, many expatriates did not vote for fear their illegal status in the U.S. would be exposed.

Thousands of Mexican expatriates streamed into border towns Sunday to vote in their homeland's elections and others were allowed to cast absentee ballots for the first time. But some were disenfranchised by their fear of crossing the border as undocumented residents.

"Why couldn't they have made it easier for us to vote here?" said Adriana Lopez, 27, a housewife and illegal immigrant in Orange County who wanted to but couldn't vote out of fear to cross the border. "The governments at home are always so corrupt."

When Mexico's Congress passed a law last year extending suffrage to expatriates, Mexicans here hailed it as overdue recognition of the billions of dollars they send home every year.

Celebrations turned to frustration when it was learned that people who wanted to vote needed a current electoral card, and that the cutoff date to apply for an absentee ballot was nearly six months before the election. Mexican electoral laws also do not allow campaigning in the United States, making it hard for expatriates to connect with candidates.

Fear over the last year kept many from traveling to Mexico to vote in person or apply for a voter card, necessary to request an absentee ballot or vote in Mexico on Election Day.

My Spin

this is ridiculous, now illegal immigrants are mad at the US because we wouldn't let them go back across the border to vote then sneak back across the border illegally - you can't have it both ways your either Mexican or American (if your American there is no reason you can' t be an American of Mexican Desent, just become a citizen thats all we ask), I can understand wanting to have a say in the political process in Mexico but you live here (legally, or illegally) and it's not right for you to jump the border vote and leave again that defeats the purpose of voter registration and completely tampers with voting results, because who knows if your really a Mexican citizen or a Columbian for instance.

I really can not understand the mindset of the illegal immigrants in this country, all we want is for you to come here legally, become a citizen and then your free to do whatever you like, send money back home we don't care, plus as a citizen you pay taxes which helps everyone else in addition your children can go to school, you have access to health care, you can vote here (much more important than Mexico). You help everyone if you become an American citizen.

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