Undocumented immigrants watch historic U.S. election from sidelines
NEW YORK — There was never any doubt Juana Alvarez’s 18- and 20-year-old American-born daughters would be taking part in the election this year. Alvarez did her best to see to that.
“I had two people I wanted to get registered and I registered them,” Alvarez, a 39-year-old housekeeper in Brooklyn who came to the U.S. from Mexico as a teenager, told an AP reporter through a translator.
For Alvarez and the estimated 11 million other immigrants living illegally in the U.S., this is a potentially crucial election, with Republican Donald Trump talking about mass deportations and a border wall and Democrat Hillary Clinton pledging to support immigration reform and protect President Barack Obama’s executive actions on behalf of immigrants.
Come Election Day, these immigrants will be watching from the sidelines, their future in the hands of others. Under the U.S. Constitution, only full citizens can vote; legal immigrants who are green card holders also are not allowed to cast a ballot.
Trump has spoken of fears of election fraud or that immigrants living illegally in the country might vote. More broadly, he has said all immigrants should play by the legal rules.
Alvarez and others like her say although they can’t vote, they have been taking part in get-out-the-vote efforts among citizens.
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