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Tags: local citizenship | pros and cons

Pros and Cons of Local Governments Granting Citizenship

By    |   Sunday, 02 August 2015 10:13 AM

Some have suggested a way to solve illegal immigration issues is by permitting local government to grant citizenship.

While legislation has not been successful on the issue so far, New York had proposed a bill on it and other states have granted undocumented workers some privileges, such as being able to practice law or receive in-state tuition, Bloomberg reported.

Here are some of the positive and negative implications to local governments granting citizenship.

Urgent: Do You Support Immigration Reform?


1. It’s more democratic.
According to Bloomberg, New York’s proposed legislation would have permitted those who become citizens under their law to participate in jury duty, vote in state and local elections, and receive the benefits of being a citizen, such as Medicaid coverage, licensing, and tuition assistance. Allowing more people to participate in politics provides them more of a voice and a greater knowledge of what residents want.

2. It may be a solution for states with large illegal immigration problems.
Though Congress has discussed and debated amnesty legislation known as the DREAM Act, nothing has been officially passed by the legislative branch. For those with large undocumented populations, states allowing citizenship could lead to the end of law enforcement’s struggles with dealing with illegal immigrants, according to Al Jazeera.

3. Immigrants could become part of the society.
Though illegal aliens are living in communities, many times they are stereotyped and living in isolation. By receiving state citizenship, they could become a part of the community around them, become accountable neighbors, and be recognized for their contribution to society, according to the Albany Times Union.


1. Immigrants are still subject to federal immigration laws.
Some benefits of citizenship would still be denied to the immigrants. One important issue is that they would not be able to legally work in the United States under federal law, Bloomberg reported. They also would not be able to vote in federal elections.

2. It could face legal challenges.
Since the legislation has never before been done and would be new territory on which state would tread, the law would probably have to be reviewed in court, which is a long and expensive process, according to the Guardian Liberty Voice.

3. It could cause confusion.
If state or local governments started granting citizenship, it could be a cause for confusion if people move to a different area. Changing residency to a different state that does not recognize another state’s grants of citizenship could leave the individual stripped of his or her rights that they held while living elsewhere.

Tell Us: Should Illegals Be Allowed to Apply for US Citizenship?

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Some have suggested a way to solve illegal immigration issues is by permitting local government to grant citizenship.
local citizenship, pros and cons
Sunday, 02 August 2015 10:13 AM
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