Immigrant Voting Rights: A History

San Francisco voters are considering Prop N this November – which would allow non-citizen immigrant parents with children in the city’s public schools to vote for School Board officials. This enfranchisement would affect one-third of SF public school kids who have at least one immigrant parent.

I covered what this would mean for Latino parents in the Mission District of San Francisco, for Oakland-based National Radio Project / Making Contact:

I spent hours with these parents, who let me go pick up their kids from school with them and ask them many, many questions, and I only got to use a few clips from my time with Marco and local politicians like Eric Mar and Matt Haney.

But one of my most interesting interviews was with the academic expert on immigrant voting – Ron Hayduk, a recent transplant from New York City, where he had studied the history of this voting right.

According to Professor Hayduk, immigrant voting has a long history in the U.S. We used to allow immigrants to vote locally – and even state and nationwide – up until the 1920s! What happened?

Here is a look at the history of immigrant or non-citizen voting with Professor Hayduk, taped on August 26th, 2016, in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Music used with permission:
“Las Flores”
by Loco Tranquilo
(local Mission District band in SF – check out the full song on SoundCloud)


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