After much deliberation, the Blue Legislature passed a bill allowing undocumented immigrants who pay state income taxes the right to vote.
Bill Sponsor Seeyade Gizachew, argued that these immigrants receive no type of government assistance including FAFSA, welfare, or food stamps, but are still required to pay a portion of their income sales and property tax. Immigrants are hardworking tax payers that contribute tremendously to state and country as a whole and should have the right to have a say in what goes on in the elections, continued Gizachew.
According to the California website, www.ca.org, one third of the state’s work force are undocumented immigrants, and contribute billions of dollars to the state’s economy. 11.64 billion dollars in state and local taxes each year come from undocumented immigrants. Gizachew seeks to use this money for schools, medical research, hospitals, and infrastructure we need.
An opponent of the bill, legislative analyst Ethan Waite, spoke on the effect this bill will have. Enacting this bill will cost the state of California an estimated 6.3 million dollars.
Delegate Wesley Davies, a supporter of the bill, argued that all undocumented immigrants should have the same rights as all American citizens.