(PNS reporting from SACRAMENTO) Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Monday that would have made California the first state in the nation to allow legal immigrants who are not citizens to serve on juries.
The governor has recently approved bills expanding the rights of immigrants, including legislation allowing those in the country without documents to apply for driver’s licenses and practice law. Democrat Brown said serving on a jury, however, was a civic duty that should be exclusive to citizens.
Ronaldo Santa Flojeraz (photo), 36, a client of the of Los Angeles Immigrant Rights Labor Center, welcomed Brown’s decision. “Thank you, Governor Brown, for vetoing that bill,” he told PNS. “I was not looking forward to having to avoid the jury duty summons mailers sent by the local courts. I got better things to do.”
“It would have been a terrible waste of my time and so boring too,” said Flojeraz, who is from Mexico. “I’d have to wait all day at the court to see if they called me to sit on some stupid shoplifting case, or a wife beating case. No way. Gracias, Governor Brown.”
“Jury service, like voting, is quintessentially a prerogative and responsibility of citizenship,” Brown wrote in his veto message.
Flojeraz fully agreed.
“I already have to go to the damn DMV to get my undocumented immigrant driver’s permit,” said the Zacatecas native, “and that’s going to be a whole day lost. Plus insurance? A la madre.”
“They just wanted us immigrants to do the work that the Americans won’t do. Like happily sign up for jury duty. Before you know it, they will want us to vote,” Flojeraz added.