NYC May Give Non-Citizen Immigrants the Right to Vote

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A controversial proposal in New York City to give voting rights to hundreds of thousands of non-citizen immigrants could make them into a key vote in America’s largest city.

The Big Apple proposal, though, could resonate with other municipalities, inspiring them to follow suit — and, if Congress approves an otherwise unrelated immigration overhaul, the number of newly eligible immigrant voters could swell into a potent voting bloc on the local level.

That’s because the national overhaul being considered in Washington creates a so-called pathway to legal status for millions of illegal immigrants. By itself, this does little in the near-term to give non-citizens the right to vote. But if New York City approves its plan to give its 800,000 legal immigrants a say in city politics, illegal immigrants could eventually join the voter rolls there as well. And they wouldn’t have to wait for citizenship to vote.

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