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New York City is ready to give non-citizens voting rights | Nationwide

New York (AP) — A beacon of immigrants, New York City is becoming the largest place in the country to give non-citizens the right to vote in local elections.

Legally documented voting-age non-citizens make up nearly one in nine of the city’s seven million voting-age residents. Under the bill, which is approaching approval, approximately 800,000 non-citizens will be allowed to vote in elections to select mayors, members of the city council, and other local government officials.

Non-citizens cannot vote for the president or members of the House of Representatives in federal or state elections that elect governors, judges, or members of parliament.

Few things get in the way of legal efforts. The bill has gained widespread support within the city council, which is expected to ratify the proposal on Thursday. Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed concern about the wisdom and legality of legislation, but said he had no veto power.

The law will give the voice of elections to many New Yorkers who loved the city and made it a permanent residence, but it cannot easily become a U.S. citizen and will remain a citizen of their home country for a variety of reasons. I want.

Also covers “Dreamers” Like Eva Santos, 32, who was brought to the United States by her parents at the age of 11 as an illegal immigrant, when she turned 18, she couldn’t vote or go to college like her friends.

“It was really hard to know how other friends could make decisions for their future, and I couldn’t,” said Santos, now a community organizer.

Currently, more than 12 communities across the United States allow non-citizen voting, including 11 towns in Maryland and 2 towns in Vermont.

San Francisco has begun allowing non-citizens to vote in school board elections through a voter-approved voting initiative in 2016. This was true in New York City until 2002, when the board was abolished and the mayor was given control of the school.

The Democratic-controlled move in New York City is a counterpoint to the restrictions set by the Republicans in several states that support unsupported claims of non-citizen rampant fraud in federal elections.

Last year, voters in Alabama, Colorado, and Florida approved measures stating that only U.S. citizens could vote, and joined Arizona and North Dakota to pass legislation as being considered in New York City. We have adopted a rule that anticipates attempts to do so.

“I think there are people in our society who are very afraid of immigrants and fall asleep. They try to argue to disqualify their right to elect local leaders,” said New York City Council member. Said Idanis Rodriguez. The Dominican Republic couldn’t vote until he became a naturalized American citizen.

“This is about whether we live in New York City. We contribute to New York City and pay taxes in New York City,” said Democrat Rodriguez.

But De Blasio has questioned whether the bill can survive legal objections. Federal law allows state and local governments to determine who can vote in elections, but some lawmakers, including the mayor, have the power of state legislators to first extend voting rights to non-citizens in the city. He has expressed concern about whether he must act to give.

“See, there’s a clear debate. We want to get people involved, we want to hear people’s voices,” De Blasio recently said in the television news program “City Hall.”

“I’m still concerned about it. Citizenship is of extraordinary value. People are working hard for it,” he said. “We need people in every good way to want to be citizens.”

Joseph Borelli, a Republican member of Staten Island, a minority leader in the city council, said the bill would definitely be brought to court.

“It disregards citizenship, which is the standard by which the State Constitution issues or permits elections in New York state elections at all levels,” Borelli said.

The proposal helps non-citizens who are legal permanent residents of the city, and those who are allowed to work in the United States, including so-called “dreamers,” to elect mayors and city council members for at least 30 days. Allow. Autonomous Region President, Comptroller, and Public Advocate.

The law requires the Election Commission to develop an implementation plan by July. This includes voter registration rules and provisions to create individual votes for local government races to prevent non-citizens from voting in federal and state contests. Non-citizens were not allowed to vote until the 2023 election.

Anu Joshi, vice president of policy for the New York Immigration Union, said giving non-residents the right to vote could make them a political force that cannot be easily ignored.

With more than 3 million foreign-born residents, New York City will be a good place to establish a national movement to expand the voting rights of immigrants, although he is currently a professor of political science at San Francisco State University. , New York was absorbed in a campaign for non-citizens’ voting rights.

“New York, home to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, is proud to be a place of immigrants,” he said. “So there is this question of what is the location of immigrants in our city — are they really New Yorkers, in the sense that they qualify and deserve the power of voting, and shape their political future. Is it a complete New Yorker in that sense? “

The answer is “yes,” he said.

New York City is ready to give non-citizens voting rights | Nationwide

Source link New York City is ready to give non-citizens voting rights | Nationwide

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