McCaughey: Why Dems push for noncitizen voting rights

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If you think offering migrants luxury hotel rooms, free meals, laundry service, transportation, health care and immigration lawyers is excessive, just wait until they can vote. Democrats are pushing to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections in New York City, Boston and other municipalities.

The number of migrants pouring across the southern border hit a record high, according to data released last week. Illegal immigrant crossings soared 21% over the previous month. On a yearly basis, the figure hit 2.48 million.

Democrats may feign shock and distress. Don’t be fooled. Dems see these newcomers as their guarantee of a permanent voting majority in local elections. Not years from now, after the newcomers become citizens. Right now.

New York Mayor Eric Adams’ rhetoric is typical. He warns that the overwhelming number of migrants arriving — currently 16,000 to 17,000 a month — “will destroy New York City,” but he’s also leading the legal effort to turn migrants into voters.

Adams and other New York Democrats pushed President Joe Biden to expedite work authorizations for them. They said it’s about making migrants self-sufficient. Maybe, but Dems have another powerful motive.

If you read the fine print of New York City’s “Our City, Our Vote” law, enacted in December 2021, it says that anyone with a work authorization who has been in the city for a mere 30 days can vote, even if they entered the country illegally.

The law is tied up in court.

A group of Republicans led by Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella sued, arguing the state constitution grants the right to vote to “every citizen.” A Staten Island judge bought that argument and struck down the law, but Adams’ law department is appealing that ruling in a higher court, arguing that the state constitution does not specifically prohibit noncitizens from voting.

Adams has a shot at winning. Vermont’s top court ruled in favor of allowing noncitizens to vote in municipal elections, even though the Vermont constitution restricts voting in state elections to U.S. citizens.

California and Maryland also already permit municipalities to enfranchise noncitizens.

The Boston City Council is debating allowing newcomers to vote, including migrants who recently came across the border illegally and have temporary protected status.

In Washington, D.C., Democrats rammed through a local law in November 2022 allowing noncitizens, even foreign embassy employees, to vote, as long as they’ve resided in the city for 30 days.

In Connecticut, Democrats want to amend the state’s constitution to allow noncitizens to vote in state and local elections.

Voting is a privilege reserved for citizens. Once immigrants follow the law, become naturalized and swear loyalty to this nation and its Constitution, they should be entitled to vote. Not before.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths.

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