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Puerto Rico Governer Proposes Voting Rights for All, Regardless of Immigration Status

The new proposal would augment other safeguards for undocumented immigrants, including access to healthcare, education, and driver’s licenses.

Puerto Rico governer Alejandro Garcia Padilla has announced plans for legislation that would grant the right to vote to all of its estimated 200,000-400,000 undocumented immigrants. The statements came at a recent public meeting with the president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, during which the two politicians signed various agreements to tackle economics, education, security, and environmental issues together.

“Today, we would like to break down the barriers that prevent immigrants from contributing all that they truly can to economic recovery and social progress in Puerto Rico,” said Padilla earlier this month.


Image via Creative Commons

Puerto Rico already has laws in place protecting its immigrants’ rights to education, healthcare, and a driver’s license. Padilla also expressed support for legislation that would grant all foreigners access to credit unions and banks, allowing them to open checking accounts and credit cards, and take out loans.

The only thing Padilla would ask of immigrants seeking the right to vote? Their expressed intention to remain a resident of the country. “We will all contribute and we will all vote,” he said.

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