Jason Wheeler, WCSH-TV (Portland, Maine), March 23, 2010
The League of Young Voters and Portland’s immigrant community are teaming up, pushing for voting rights for legal immigrants.
The city of Portland is home to nearly 7,000 legal immigrants, who make up almost 10% of the city’s population. Legal immigrants pay taxes into the city, own businesses, and send their children to Portland schools. They use many of the services available to United States citizens, but have no say in how their tax money is spent.
The League of Young Voters, along with several members of Portland’s immigrant community have formulated a petition drive. They will have until July 14th to gather just over 5,000 signatures to have the question put on the November ballot. If the question does pass, immigrants would have to prove they are in the country legally, and even then would only be allowed to vote in citywide elections.