Democrat-Controlled City Pushes Granting Non-Citizens Right to Vote: ‘Build a City That Is for Everyone’

Democrat-Controlled City Pushes Granting Non-Citizens Right to Vote: ‘Build a City That Is for Everyone’

The birthplace of the American Revolution could soon offer foreign nationals the chance to shape its future.

Democratic leaders in Boston are pushing to allow non-U.S. citizens to vote in municipal elections, according to the Boston Herald.

The proposal was introduced on Wednesday by City Councilor Kendra Lara and would apply to all residents who have “legal status,” presumably green card holders and people in the city on work visas.

Lara said denying non-citizens the right to vote is “a violation of one of our foundational American principles.”

“By moving this home rule petition forward, Boston can begin the process of making good on our promise to build a city that is for everyone,” she added.

Lara said immigrants with “legal status” in Boston pay $2.3 billion in taxes every year and hold about $6 billion in “collective spending power.”

(She also said they make up 28 percent of the city’s population, but according to U.S. census data, that number includes illegal immigrants and naturalized citizens.)

The Herald reported that several City Council members supported the proposal, including Democrat Ricardo Arroyo, who said it could boost voter turnout numbers.

However, Democratic Councilor-at-Large Michael Flaherty raised legal concerns, pointing to a similar measure passed in New York City and struck down by a state court.

He also noted that non-citizens could “seriously jeopardize their opportunity to become a legal citizen” if they were to mistakenly vote in a state or federal election instead of a local one.

But Flaherty made it clear that he did not oppose Lara’s proposal.

“We need to find a way through this, we need to continue to be inviting and welcoming to new Bostonians, we need to encourage all that community involvement and participation,” he said, according to Boston.com.

The City Council will continue to discuss the matter.

As Flaherty pointed out, a measure was passed in New York last year allowing the estimated 800,000 to 1 million non-citizens living in the city to participate in local elections.

Judge Ralph Porzio of Staten Island blocked the law, ruling that it violated the state constitution.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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