Calif. expands rights to noncitizens

By Jennifer Medina, New York Times

LOS ANGELES — California is challenging the historic status of American citizenship with measures to permit noncitizens to sit on juries and monitor polls for elections in which they cannot vote and to open the practice of law even to those here illegally. It is the leading edge of a national trend that includes granting drivers’ licenses and in-state tuition to illegal immigrants in some states and that suggests legal residency could evolve into an appealing option should immigration legislation fail to produce a path to citizenship.

With 3.5 million noncitizens who are legal permanent residents in California, some view the changes as an acknowledgment of who is living here and the need to require some public service of them. But the new laws raise profound questions about which rights and responsibilities rightly belong to citizens over residents.

“What is more basic to our society than being able to judge your fellow citizens?” asked Jessica A. Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School, referring to jury service. “We’re absolutely going to the bedrock of things here and stretching what we used to think of as limits.”

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Comments (9)
  1. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: September 23, 2013

    Legal aliens, those with a work visa, should be allowed to have a driver’s license, in fact after a year they should be required to get one.

  2. J. fremont says - Posted: September 23, 2013

    SERIOUSLY???? This state is the poster child for illegals and mexican officials want them here by the droves to infest our state. GET HERE LEGALLY like the rest of us! This is so rediculous I can’t even find words.

  3. Justice says - Posted: September 23, 2013

    People should demand they enforce the federal law and deport every illegal after they are granted drivers licenses by Moonbeam so that it can be done quickly and will not be a hard job, they should start getting the HS people ready now for the job, oh wait I forgot, Bummer refuses to enforce our immigration laws or build the fence or secure the border under the 2006 Border Security Act and his own relatives are here illegally.

  4. Biggerpicture says - Posted: September 23, 2013

    Justice, please enlighten us as to the last president that DID strongly enforce the immigration law, which is really nothing more than a misdemeanor. And where is all the money going to come from to pay for the deportation process? You seem to be another of those “fiscal conservatives” that fall all over themselves demanding the government spend MORE money on wasted efforts.

  5. Justice says - Posted: September 23, 2013

    Sure, Bush is the one who approved the Border Security Act of 2006 and Bummer made sure to defund it, any other questions? Name ANY OTHER “PRESIDENT” WITH ILLEGAL RELATIVES IN THE COUNTRY? Imagine Bush with illegal relatives in the country and what would be on on CNN 24/7! This is the most un-investigated “President” IN THE HISTORY of the USA should that concern you?

  6. tahoe Pizza Eater says - Posted: September 23, 2013

    GEE – – – Illegal aliens sitting on juries in judgement of us citizens . MMMM — Doesn’t anyone see a problem with that ?

  7. dumbfounded says - Posted: September 24, 2013

    Ronald Reagan, November 6, 1986. Historic bungle.

  8. worldcycle says - Posted: September 30, 2013

    Hmmmm, seems to me that this entire country was founded on “illegals” arriving anyway they could from some sort of an “oppressive” situation to make a better lives for themselves. When did they really start becoming “illegals” anyway?

    Just food for thought.