San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Eric Mar says the political climate is right to grant illegal immigrants the right to vote.
While even notoriously liberal San Francisco voters have rejected past efforts to grant voting privileges to illegals, Fox News reports that Mar thinks the backlash against Donald Trump will yield a strong turn-out of Latino and anti-Trump voters to the polls to pass his proposed charter amendment.
“With Donald Trump’s racist and anti-immigrant sentiments, there is a reaction from many of us who are disgusted by those politics,” Mar said, according to Fox News. “I think that’s going to ensure there is strong Latino turnout as well as other immigrant turnout.”
Mar’s amendment would grant illegal immigrants who have children in public schools the right to vote in school elections.
“The time is right for San Francisco to make history, to pave the way for immigrant parents to have a say in the policy decisions that impact their child’s education and who gets to sit on the Board of Education,” Mar added.
The proposed charter amendment is expected to go to the rules committee soon, according to the Fox report, and once it moves through committee, it can be presented to the full board of supervisors who will decide whether it will appear on the ballot. If it receives majority approval, the charter amendment will be on the same ballot as the presidential election on November 8.
San Francisco attempted to open voting to illegal immigrants with similar charter amendments in 2004 and 2010. Both efforts failed.
Now, however, with nearly one in three children in the San Francisco school system the child of immigrants and more than 3 million illegal immigrants in the state of California alone, advocates for the initiative are optimistic that the third attempt to open voting to illegals will be successful.
“With the anti-immigrant rhetoric from Donald Trump, it is more important than ever that we come together as San Franciscans to stand up for our immigrant communities and support their civic engagement,” California Assemblymember David Chiu, D-San Francisco, who introduced a similar ballot initiative in 2010, said in a statement according to Fox.
It is a felony for non-citizens to vote in federal elections, but local elections often have more malleable rules.