New York City may soon allow non-citizens, including illegal immigrants who would be granted amnesty if the Senate’s immigration reform bill passes Congress, to vote in elections.
According to Talking Points Memo, the New York City Council is currently considering a proposal that would allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. Even though Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly opposes the proposal, TPM reports that the New York City Council “appears to have a veto-proof majority” so it could make the proposal law without Bloomberg’s support.
Queens College professor Ron Hayduk, a supporter of the proposal who helped craft it, told TPM that this proposal is likely to influence the national immigration debate, too, as pro-amnesty factions are likely to support it.
“It would send a big message to the rest of the country and embolden campaigns which are ongoing in other places like San Francisco, and Portland, Maine, and Washington, D.C., and other places,” Hayduk said. “It would certainly be viewed favorably by immigrants’ rights advocates and be seen by other policy makers as another level of discussion about the whole business of the role of immigrants in the United States.”
If the Senate immigration bill passes Congress and the New York City Council passes its proposal, illegal immigrants in the city would likely be allowed to vote because the immigration reform bill makes illegal immigrants legal almost immediately upon passage.
Protecting American citizens’ votes is a major concern of many in this debate. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) made “secure the vote” one of his top three priorities in any immigration package.
“Securing the vote is also important in this debate, and I think Congress should look at reforming our ‘motor voter’ laws to prevent fraud as a large bloc of immigrants are legalized but are not eligible to vote,” Paul wrote in a recent Washington Times op-ed. Paul referred to the National Voter Registration Act signed by President Clinton in 1993 allowing states to register voters when they apply for driver’s licenses. Yet some states fail to require voters to produce driver’s licences when they vote. “Preventing non citizens from being included on the voter rolls is necessary for and consistent with fair immigration reform.”
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton also told Breitbart News recently that “amnesty will harm the integrity our nation’s elections as surely as night follows day.”
“‘Legalizing’ 11 to 20 million aliens will create a new category of potential illicit voters,” Fitton said. “As it is, our voter rolls have an unknown number of ineligible non-citizen voters. Amnestied aliens will have numerous opportunities to register to vote. And many are bound to improperly do so – and then vote.”