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The New York City Council pro­posed a new bill on Jan. 23 to allow green card holders and immi­grants with work visas to vote in mayoral races and other elec­tions in New York City. I Wiki­media Commons

The New York City Council pro­posed a new bill on Jan. 23 to allow green card holders and immi­grants with work visas to vote in mayoral races and other elec­tions in New York City. 

If passed, this leg­is­lation will further degrade the rule of law by extending the right to vote to nearly one million people who are not U.S. cit­izens. 

By def­i­n­ition, green card holders are per­manent res­i­dents, not cit­izens, and therefore they should not par­tic­ipate in the civic process like cit­izens. 

Nonci­t­izens are pro­hibited from voting in federal elec­tions. Granting voting priv­i­leges to these indi­viduals for local elec­tions exposes the greater motive of the left, which is to oblit­erate all immi­gration laws. Local politi­cians accom­plish this by imple­menting uncon­sti­tu­tional, piecemeal rules to render national immi­gration laws mean­ingless.  

Law­makers in New York City have fought against federal immi­gration laws for years. The city’s Green Light Law allows undoc­u­mented immi­grants to obtain driver’s licenses, which makes it more chal­lenging for the United States’ immi­gration author­ities to determine an individual’s legal status. And in 2014, New York City declared itself a sanc­tuary city for undoc­u­mented immi­grants, demon­strating a clear con­tempt for the Con­sti­tution. 

From January to April 2018, the New York Police Department and New York Customs Department ignored 440 detainer notices. Immi­gration and Customs Enforcement agency issues a detainer when an undoc­u­mented immi­grant is sus­pected of com­mitting a federal crime. The NYPD and NYCD released illegal immi­grants back into their com­mu­nities, and within three and a half months, 40 of those released from custody com­mitted more crimes and were rear­rested.  

New York City has openly dis­re­garded a crucial part of the nat­u­ral­ization process, which dis­tin­guishes between those immi­grants with green cards and those with cit­i­zenship. Rather than openly advo­cating for open borders, the city council has slowly eroded the sov­er­eignty of their cit­izens through sly, easily mis­un­der­stood laws. 

The green card and work visa process is chal­lenging: There are 185 dif­ferent types of visas with tech­nical lan­guage and red tape. It’s so con­fusing that most immi­grants hire lawyers to do this kind of work for them. 

Details aside, the fun­da­mental effects are simple: one million people who have no certain means of ever gaining their cit­i­zenship will affect how one of the nation’s largest cities is run. This is a clear vio­lation of the rights of Amer­icans, and an example of a local government’s failure to meet its primary goal: to protect its own cit­izens’ right to rep­re­sen­tation. 

The New York City council renders itself inca­pable of pro­tecting its con­stituents and pro­moting the things they desire by extending rep­re­sen­tation to one million people in a city of about 8.5 million people.

New York City has ignored the consent of those it’s sup­posed to govern and is thereby pro­moting an unjust law. Granting the right to vote to non-cit­izens bypasses the legal immi­gration process that so many other immi­grants have gone through to become full-fledged cit­izens and earn the right to vote.

If becoming a citizen simply means finding a job through one of the various work pro­grams, then being a citizen is nothing more than entering into a work con­tract. Simply con­tributing to GDP does not entitle you to the blessings of liberty. 

New York City has trampled on the value of civic par­tic­i­pation, not that New Yorkers are par­tic­u­larly civic-minded anyway, given the many head­lines about older women being robbed and beaten on the street. But the city will unjustly dis­tribute political power to the point where dis­tinc­tions between cit­izens and nonci­t­izens are mean­ingless. This can only lead to chaos.  

Emma Cummins is a junior studying pol­itics. She is an assistant editor for The Col­legian.