Reader wants immigration control
Thanks for your story "Aliens being registered to vote: No way for election commission to check." You seem to be one of the very few alert, awake, and responsible journalists in Tennessee.
Since early 2001, Tennesseans for Immigration Control and Reform has been fighting the issuance of Tennessee driver's licenses to illegal aliens. Illegal voting by noncitizens is but one of the reasons why. Tennesseans are ready to fight about any proposed state income tax. Why aren't they just as upset about where their taxes are going? Because of the 2001 Tennessee law allowing illegal aliens to get driver's licenses, our state has become a magnet for illegal aliens, and many of our resources, including tax monies, are supporting and facilitating the entrenchment of these folks who shouldn't be in our country in the first place.
Gov. Phil Bredesen's bill to substitute "driving certificates" for the driver's licenses illegal aliens are getting is no solution to the mess our elected officials have created for us. The state should return to its pre-2001 requirement of Social Security numbers from all driver's license applicants. Verification of the SSNs should be mandatory. In addition, applicants should show proof of legal presence in the United States.
Editor's clarification: The front page report "Aliens being registered to vote - No way for Election Commission to check" which appeared in the April 2004 issue of The People News did not mention illegal aliens. The two resident aliens reported as being in possession of voter registration cards were legally in the United States and had not requested the privilege to vote. Completing an application to vote was required of them from the Department of Human Services when they applied to receive assistance. The people in question had told officials that they were not citizens. In order to be legally entitled to vote it is necessary to be a US Citizen but there is no requirement to prove status. The report was not intended to convey the impression that aliens were circumventing the system, rather that state officials were facilitating it.