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Undocumented immigrants and other noncitizens could soon play a larger role in shaping the policies that become the platform of the California Democratic Party.
State lawmakers from San Francisco proposed legislation Friday that would allow noncitizens to participate in Democratic Party politics as state convention delegates and county committee leaders.
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State law now limits noncitizens’ ability to participate in party politics. Supporters of the new proposal noted that Democrats dominate California politics, and said it was important for noncitizens to have a say in party policymaking.
“We need to continue to send a very, very loud message that we are ... going to embrace and uplift and support all American immigrant neighbors,” state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, said at a news conference at which he and other Democrats unveiled his bill, SB288.
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He said it would counter Trump administration policies that have “caused enormous fear and anxiety” among many immigrants.
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The bill would apply only to leadership roles and delegate positions in the Democratic Party. It would not apply to California’s Republican Party, whose leaders have not commented on the bill.
Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, a co-author of the bill, said the proposal reflects Democrats’ goal of a state “where human beings are not considered illegal” and immigrants are welcomed into the political system.
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