Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) is pushing legislation that would allow permanent residents in NY to vote in municipal elections.
Brooklyn eagle reports more than 100 immigrants and their advocates gathered outside City Hall on Thursday afternoon to support new legislation that would extend municipal voting rights to green card holders and noncitizens with work authorization in the United States.
Attendees held signs that read “One city, one vote” in English, Spanish and Bengali, and chanted, “No taxation without representation” as activists and local lawmakers described how noncitizens have been excluded from government.
“I can tell you what’s un-American,” sponsor Ydanis Rodriguez of Upper Manhattan told the crowd. “Denying people who pay their taxes the right to choose their representative that will determine where their money is allocated; what schools and parks and senior centers will receive funding. It is un-American to leave them out of that process.”
About 660,000 immigrants in New York City hold Green Cards, according to the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs’ 2018 Annual Report. They make up the bulk of New Yorkers who would receive voting rights under the measure.
In both Brooklyn and Queens, roughly a quarter of immigrants are Green Card or visa holders, according to MOIA.
There are an estimated 184,000 undocumented New Yorkers living in Queens, and another 127,000 in Brooklyn, who would not be enfranchised.
Already, 27 City Council members say they will support Rodriguez’s bill, according to the newly-formed Our City, Our Vote coalition. Co-sponsors include Queens Council members Danny Dromm of Jackson Heights and I. Daneek Miller of Jamaica, and Brooklyn Council member Carlos Menchaca in Sunset Park.
Per Breitbart, Mayor Bill de Blasio has yet to announce a decision on whether he will support the plan.
Similar to New York City Democrats, elected Democrats in the state’s legislature are pushing a measure that would automatically register to vote all eligible state residents who apply for driver’s licenses unless they check an “opt-out” box.
As of this year, illegal aliens are able to obtain driver’s licenses in New York, indicating that illegal aliens and non-citizens will only be excluded from the state voter rolls if they check the opt-out box before applying for a license.
Elected Democrats have argued there are safeguards in the legislation such as mandating that non-citizens and illegal aliens check the opt-out box.