Donald Trump

Proposal Aims to Give Undocumented Immigrants a Vote in San Francisco School Elections

Undocumented immigrants in San Francisco could get a voting voice if a controversial measure makes the November ballot.

The proposal has twice been defeated in recent years, but with the volatile political climate, one San Francisco supervisor is hoping the third time is a charm.

Under the proposed measure, undocumented immigrants who have school-aged children in San Francisco would be able to cast a vote only during local school board elections. School officials estimate this could effect about a third of their student population.

"Right now they don't even care because they can't vote about the issues," San Francisco-resident Jennifer Hereia said. "So it doesn't even matter, but now they are going to be more motivated and be able to have a say in at least their children's education."

San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar said the proposed measure is about expanding rights and improving the city's school system.

Mar said the anti-immigration rhetoric from Donald Trump has mobilized supporters of immigration, possibly giving the measure what it lacked in previous years.

"I think now is the time with a huge voter turnout in November, mobilized immigration, parents and communities that with a grassroots effort in the past, it's even stronger given the climate," Mar said.

The measure needs board approval before it can be put on the ballot. Approval is expected this summer and would join Vote 16, which if passed would lower the legal voting age to 16 for San Francisco residents.

If the immigration measure does get to the ballot and does pass, it can still be challenged in the courts. School officials said they will lave it for a judge to decide whether or not this measure is constitutional. 

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