Extend Voting Rights to Deflect Bigotry

In his column "On a Street Corner the City's Future Looks Fogged In" (Oct. 8), Tim Rutten calls for a federal policy change to help put the mounting number of Mexican and Central-American immigrants back to work.

One solution is that locally we should extend the franchise. Millions of people in Southern California can't vote because they are not citizens but resident aliens or undocumented immigrants.

They work or look for work, pay taxes, contribute to the system, are concerned about safety and other issues, such as the rebuilding of Los Angeles, but they don't have that piece of paper that allows them to vote.

The term citizen used to signify all the people who lived in a city, region or town. In modern times it has unfortunately acquired a narrow legal definition that reflects bigotry against foreigners.

ANDREW K. LIBERMAN

Los Angeles

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