What do New Yorkers think about letting noncitizens vote in city elections?
NEW YORK – New Yorkers were two-minded about a new measure that would grant almost a million noncitizens the right to vote in citywide elections.
"I think it's a good idea," a New Yorker in favor of the change told Fox News. "If they're living here, but they're on a working visa, I mean, I guess they should have a say as to what's going on in the city, right?"
Another lifelong New Yorker opposed the measure, saying, "I do not agree with it. Why should they? They're not from here."
The New York City Council passed legislation Thursday to allow nearly 800,000 legal noncitizens who have lived in the city for over 30 days to vote in local elections. It would apply to green-card and work-permit holders as well as those within Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Activists participate in a rally on the steps of City Hall ahead of a City Council vote to allow lawful permanent residents to cast votes in elections to pick the mayor, City Council members and other municipal officeholders, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
"That’s awesome … I absolutely love it," a first-generation American and lifelong New Yorker told Fox News.
"The 800,000 that get to vote are the people who also live here. So it's going to affect their community – they should also have their own voice," he continued.
One woman also agreed with the move, saying, "As long as they're educated about politics and politicians, then I think that's great."
A voter stands in a booth at a voting station at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the mayoral election process in New York on June 12, 2021. ( ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who introduced the legislation, said in a statement Thursday: "In one of the most diverse cities in the world, we need to ensure that there is adequate representation for all New Yorkers. That starts by expanding the scope of who is allowed to vote in our local elections."
Others, however, questioned the city council's decision.
"An American citizen has the right to vote, and I believe that that is important that we maintain that level of integrity," one man said against the new legislation.
Another man told Fox News: "It's a great country. People do want to come here and better their lives and better their families' lives … But I do think we should keep the standard as ‘citizenship is what gives you your right to vote.’"
Despite previously criticizing the bill, outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he will not veto it.
The bill is likely to face legal challenges from Republicans.
"American citizens should decide American elections — full stop," Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement Thursday. "Today's decision in New York is the product of a radical, power-hungry Democrat Party that will stop at nothing to undermine election integrity,"