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city/state "citizenship"

Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 33130

My state is considering state citizenship. The gist:
noncitizens who have proof of identity and have lived and paid taxes in the state for three years could apply for legal status. It would qualify them for Medicaid coverage, professional licensing, tuition assistance, and driver’s licenses, as well as grant state and local—but not federal—voting rights. The responsibilities of citizenship would also apply, including jury duty.

And New York City is looking at a municipal id.

I am happy that the NYC one is finally be presented as what it is - a card for illegal/undocumented immigrants. At the beginning, people tried to disguise it as "helping young adults and senior citizens who don't drive." Which is baloney. I got a nice document from the Dept of Motor Vehicles when I turned 18. It's called a non-drivers id. You can go with your parents and hardly show any id at all to get one. (In recognition that a 18 year old doesn't necessarily have everything someone older does.)

For the NYS one, I'm glad they are adding jury duty. It bothered me that they were offering the right to vote without the obligation of jury duty. Although in practice, it won't expand the jury pool much. Too many CITIZENS pretend not to speak English to get out of jury duty. Someone who has only been here three years legitimately might not speak English.

That said, I'm not clear on how this helps. Getting an id that says you are here illegally seems foolish. It supplies the federal government with a nice list of who to deport if they were so moved. I also don't see why one should be able to vote without being a citizen.

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fred rosenberger
lowercase baba

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11955

That is an interesting concept.

The closest we have here in St. Louis is something for the zoo. Right now, everyone in St. Louis City and County (they are separate entities) pay a special tax to fun the Zoo, Art Museum, and a few other such cultural things - all of which are then totally free to everyone.

They are talking about charging admission to those places for non-residents. I guess I'd get some kind of "i pay the tax so i get in free" card...

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Ulf Dittmer

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42965
I'm not sure how widespread that is throughout the EU, but local (not state or federal) voting rights have been granted to legal non-citizen residents here for a while. The idea is to build engagement within the community where people choose to make their home. I don't feel good about giving voting rights, or upholding the law via jury duty, to illegal residents, though. It's a somewhat moot question here, as the country is so steeped in bureaucracy that it is very hard, if not impossible, to do or obtain anything without legal status. (Not that we have citizen juries to begin with, of course.)

I'm trying to remember what I showed when obtaining a driver's license in NY. I think I needed 3 pieces identifying me and/or proving my in-state address - like passport, rental agreement and utility bill. But not any papers that showed I was in the country legally (they didn't check visas in the passport). Of course, they may have tightened it down since.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 33130

Other cities have things like "Free museum Tuesdays for residents in certain zip codes." What St Louis is doing sounds equivalent to that.

Yeah, things have gotten tighter. I have no problems with someone who is here illegal getting a driver's license. (and insurance) They are driving regardless of what the document says.
Campbell Ritchie

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 46402
Free access for residents, or reduced prices, are common in Britain, too. I had no trouble understanding that you could get a pound off admission to the HMS Trincomalee if you are over 60 (that's me) or disabled or a Hartlepool resident, but it took me a bit of time to work out why Armed Forces members get the discount too.
Pat Farrell

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659

Municipal ID, oh boy, that sounds like a great idea if you are big brother. Just what you want if your local city is corrupt, say as Jersey City NJ was (20+ officials, deputy mayors, etc. indicted for all sorts of crimes, I think including baby selling).

Fairfax county Virginia has a very nice, expensive public park system. They charge non-residents to use any of their facilities. So far, it has not caused riots.
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subject: city/state "citizenship"
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