by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Ben Wilson writes for the Washington Free Beacon about a bizarre argument related to voting by non-American citizens.
Allowing immigrants without American citizenship to vote would “enrich” the “concept of citizenship,” a Boston Democratic councilwoman said on Monday.
“Immigrants with legal status live here, pay taxes, are members of this body politic, and should be able to exercise their right to vote,” Ruthzee Louijeune said in a city council hearing. “Far from diluting the concept of citizenship, noncitizen voting would enrich it by fully incorporating immigrants.”
Louijeune, a Harvard Law School graduate who served as senior counsel for Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D., Mass.) 2020 presidential campaign, made the comments as the city council debates whether to open local elections to noncitizen residents, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, Temporary Protected Status receivers, and other visa holders.
If the measure passes, Boston will become the largest city in the country to allow noncitizens to vote after state courts struck down similar policies in New York City and San Francisco. The Democratic cities’ push to expand voting rights to noncitizens comes as the Biden administration in November extended Temporary Protected Status to hundreds of thousands of migrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal amid record illegal immigration at the southern border.
Republicans in recent years have tried to block Democratic efforts to expand noncitizen voting, arguing that it undermines U.S. citizenship and exposes the country to foreign influence. After Washington, D.C., city council members in October passed a bill to allow illegal immigrants to vote in local elections, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) introduced legislation to prohibit the city from enforcing the measure, noting that it would permit foreign workers at embassies to vote.
“Allowing noncitizens and illegal immigrants to vote in our elections opens our country up to foreign influence and allows those who are openly violating U.S. law or even working for hostile foreign governments to take advantage,” Cruz said.