Saturday, May 18, 2024

Recent New York City Law to Allow Noncitizens and Dreamers to Vote

In New York City, more than 800,000 noncitizens and DREAMers will be able to vote in municipal elections as early as next year.

This marks New York City as the first major U.S. city to grant voting rights to noncitizens. However, they’re still not able to vote in federal or state elections.

Critics of the law argue that the council lacks the authority to grant voting rights to noncitizens and should have sought action by state lawmakers.

Throughout the U.S. more than a dozen communities have allowed noncitizens to cast ballots in local elections.

By this summer, the Board of Elections must create an implementation plan which would include voter registration rules and provisions to regulate noncitizens from casting ballots in federal and state contests.

Those who have been permanent residents for at least 30 days as well as those authorized to work in the U.S., including DREAMers will have the chance to help select the city’s mayor, council members, borough presidents, comptroller, and public advocate.

DREAMers are undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. They could’ve benefited from the never-passed DREAM Act, which would’ve allowed them to remain in the country if they met certain criteria.

Former City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez stated, “we build a stronger democracy when we include the voices of immigrants.”