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.