A Reader Asks About a Non-Citizen Politician...
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From:  Carol Joyal

Immigration Reform Network of Silicon Valley

Recently a packet of copies of letters and documents arrived at my door.  Included was a copy of the voter registration of Ignacio De La Fuente, Vice Mayor of Oakland, California and an immigrant from Mexico. He had omitted the section on the registration in which he was supposed to check off information about his citizenship.  I next saw a copy a letter to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters pointing out this incomplete registration.  Then there were three copies of De La Fuente's filing for candidacy for council.  One he had an aide fill out and sign for him, the other two he signed.  Oakland requires elected officials to be citizens.  A caller had said the Immigration and Naturalization Service's data base had no record of someone of that name naturalizing.  My caller alleged that the State Attorney General's office had been notified, as had the Secretary of State's, and Representative Barbara Lee.  I decided to follow up on my own.

I called the office of the Secretary of State and was told the matter is under investigation.  I asked how long it takes since they were previously sent documents.  Apparently this person wasn't aware that INS has a data base so I suggested this check.  I also called Rep. Barbara Lee's office and received an angry reply that voting is not their concern.  Sen. Barbara Boxer's office in Washington wasn't pleased with my call, and also suggested this was a local matter.  I also contacted The Voter Integrity Project, and they immediately contacted me.  (I don't know what is happening with that effort at this time.)  Today I am sending copies of documents to a San Francisco Chronicle writer who enjoys bashing Mayor Jerry Brown.  I wonder if your readers have any ideas for me.

February 18, 2001

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