Immigrants who came to America illegally may be allowed to vote in Boston elections if some members of the city council get their way.
According to a report by the Boston Globe, the city’s government will meet on Tuesday for hearings to figure out a way to make local elections more inclusive to “legal permanent residents,” however the Globe predicts this could include illegal immigrants currently protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act.
Council President Andrea Campbell ordered the start of the hearings. “All members of a community should have the right to participate and be included in the governance of that community,” her order states.
“I’m done saying, ‘I stand with you’ and that’s it,” Campbell told the Boston Herald. The Herald says Campbell told the paper earlier this year “she was interested in letting even illegal immigrants vote,” but then walked back the wording of the statement after receiving blow-back. She adjusted her proposal to allow voting rights to “immigrants with legal status,” but the inclusion of DACA recipients would not change her initial intent.
Councilman Tim McCarthy opposes the idea. “Voting is a U.S. citizen’s privilege, it’s the ultimate privilege,” McCarthy said at the time of Campbell’s original proposal. “And I for one will continue to fight that it remains that way. … Voting for non-citizens is a step too far.”
The National Conference of State Legislators lists three states that allow non-citizen voting in municipal or town elections: Connecticut, Delaware, and New Mexico. A total of ten states allow for voting by non-citizens in certain special district elections.
Where allowed, non-citizen voting is limited to local elections. No state has extended voting rights to non-citizen voting rights to statewide elections.
Federal elections are addressed in the 24th Amendment of the US Constitution which states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.”
Upon hearing the news of the scheduled city council hearing, many took to Twitter to voice their opinions.
This angers me. I have to reg to vote if I want to vote. Illegal immigrants who aren’t even registered to be in the USA in Boston wants to give them the right to vote NO NO NO WE the ppl elect not to have this done. NO
— Bill (@wmcdo7737) July 9, 2018
Wow! What country in the world allows non-citizens to vote??? Democrats are absolute vermin… https://t.co/44aFZznbfm
— Jeffrey Ferris (@JeffreyFerris) July 9, 2018
Boston has really deteriorated since revolutionary times as has the whole state of Massachusetts. Why do non-citizens deserve the right to vote. There is an existing path to that right. https://t.co/0mmqvhwGB7
— Herbert Beck (@hb45040) July 9, 2018