Last-Minute Campaign Targets California Immigrants

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – There is some concern that laws targeting illegal immigration passed recently in Arizona may keep legal immigrants from voting here in California, and now there’s a last minute get-out-the-vote campaign in the immigrant community.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said Arizona’s new immigration measures have spread a national climate of fear in many immigrant communities.

”It’s created a very ugly atmosphere,” said Lofgren. “And I’m not saying everyone who originally wanted the law had bad intents, but it hasn’t turned out well.”

She’s afraid one of the impacts is that many legal immigrants are afraid to go to the polls on election day, for fear that a relative could face deportation.

But Geraldo Dominguez with the Mercado Campaign said those fears are unfounded, and legal immigrants should exercise their right to vote.

”In this way we will have a stronger democracy, also a more diverse and inclusive democracy,” said Dominguez. “At the end of the day we will all benefit.”A new study from the Pew Hispanic Center finds that one-third of registered Latino voters have given quite a lot of thought to the upcoming elections, compared with 50 percent of all registered voters.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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