The Great Suppression
(Editorial cartoon by Mike Luckovich and published 7/17/12 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Click on image to enlarge and then kindly return.)
Florida got a break, of sorts. The federal government blinked and has allowed the state to access a federal data bank on known non-citizen residents.
A year-long stalemate between Florida and Washington ended Saturday when the federal government gave the state access to a comprehensive federal citizenship database, which the state will use to resume an election-year purge of non citizen voters.
After repeatedly refusing, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agreed to open its database to the Department of State, which oversees Florida’s voter registration system. The state will now cross-check the names of Florida voters against a federal citizenship database known as SAVE, or Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements. ...
Florida has one of the largest immigrant populations of any state, and more than half of the people on the first purge list had Hispanic surnames. Hispanics are considered a crucial voting bloc in the race between Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. It is a third-degree felony for a non citizen to vote in an election.
It's hard to argue that the list should not have been made available to Florida. After all, non-citizens shouldn't be voting in our elections. That's not the point, however. The damage has already been done. Hispanics, African-Americans, the poor, and the elderly have already been intimidated by the highly-suspect crackdown by the Republican-controlled legislature in Florida and other states.
In some states, like Minnesota (for example), voters will have a proposition on the ballot for a constitutional amendment requiring state sanctioned photo id's. People who don't have ready access to the documents required for such cards (again, people of color, the poor, the elderly) will be shut out. They won't even be able to try to fight what is something akin to a poll tax, and most won't bother. The Republicans see this as an easy route to victory.
Over fifty years of the civil rights struggle will be wiped out.
I am ashamed to share citizenship with those yahoos across the aisle.