Non-Citizen Voting: the New Immigration Fad

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

September 16, 2017
College park voters
College Park Council Approves Illegal Alien Voting in Local Elections, 4-3.

For decades, the pro-immigration lobby has promoted the concept that non-citizens should be allowed to vote in local and federal elections. The argument immigration advocates push is that, after all, legally present aliens and even illegal aliens, are part of the community, many work, pay taxes and should therefore have a vote in the policies that may directly affect them.

The right to vote is one of the most, if not the most, sacrosanct feature of American citizenship. Yet in College Park, part of would be sanctuary state Maryland, the City Council narrowly approved a measure that will allow aliens to vote in mayoral, city council, school board elections.

In support of the measure, Todd Larson, a pro-immigration Green America co-director, told Fox 5 DC that the change will make the city more inclusive: “The reality is allowing all people to vote in municipal elections is going to make College Park more inclusive, and that has been the history of voting rights expansion in the United States and what has happened in our neighbors in Maryland who have expanded voting rights to non-U.S. citizens.”

But a College Park citizen countered with a more grounded comment: “Although you [advocates] come up here and you say that there are hundreds of citizens and residents of College Park that are for this charter, I can tell you that there are thousands against it. Voting is a right of the citizens. It's plain and clear. It's constitutional. It's also written at the state level and it also belongs at the local level.”

College Park joins several other Maryland districts that dating back to 1993 allow non-citizen voting, Sanctuary city Chicago permits non-citizen voting in local school council elections.

History shows that once immigration actions that subvert federal law take hold in one community, they rapidly spread across the nation. As examples, see the matricula consular card, instate Dream Act tuition, and driver’s licenses. Voting could be next to catch on. New York City is considering a bill similar to College Park’s.
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