Motivated by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision permitting Arizona residents to register to vote without presenting proof of citizenship, local organizations are hitting the streets to register Latino voters.
"We want to connect with the Latino community and for them to know that we're also working for immigration reform," Raquel Teran, the director of the Arizona branch of Mi Familia Vota, told Efe.
In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court overturned a 2004 Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship beyond the sworn affirmation the federal government requires of people seeking to vote in national elections.
"This decision makes our work a lot easier. It will allow us to register people to vote who before, for different reasons, could not fulfill all the requirements," Teran said.
Mi Familia Vota estimates that in Arizona there are approximately 300,000 Latinos who are eligible to vote but still have not registered to do so.
In addition to promoting the registration of voters, the volunteers are also asking people to sign petitions in favor of immigration reform that will be sent to the Arizona lawmakers in Washington.
One of the people supporting that request is Tucson resident Cristian Padilla, who told Efe that he comes from a family of immigrants and he also has friends who have been affected by the current policy of deporting undocumented foreigners.
"I've seen the physical and psychological damage immigrants suffer. I have cases of friends and workmates," he said.
Mi Familia Vota will continue to try and get out the Latino vote all over the state, not only in federal elections, but also on the local and state level. Next year, for instance, the state will hold an election to chose a new governor. EFE