Immigrant Groups Mobilizing for Vote

November 4, 2006

Author: Yvonne Abraham

Source: The Boston Globe

Angry that illegal immigrants were targeted in the gubernatorial campaign, immigrants are mobilizing at unprecedented levels for next week's election, say those who work with them.

Community groups say they are signing up growing numbers of immigrants, both citizens and noncitizens, to help register neighbors and encourage them to go to the polls. Dozens of voter mobilization efforts have kicked into gear across the state.

It is difficult to say what impact the effort will have Tuesday. But those who work closely with immigrant communities say they have never seen this level of engagement.

In large part, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey's high-profile opposition to benefits for illegal immigrants appears to be driving the new activity.

The fervor crosses party lines and economic classes. "This has grabbed the attention of many people who otherwise would have been more politically apathetic," said Alberto Vasallo III, editor in chief of the Spanish-language weekly El Mundo in Jamaica Plain. "It has upset an extraordinary number of moderate leaders in the community."