What's Wrong with noncitizen New Yorkers voting?
Noncitizen votes dilute the fundamental principle of self-rule; just another drop in the backlash wave.
Why are New York progressives such pretentious, pugilistic dimwits?
Yesterday, the new mayor decided not to veto a new law that will allow noncitizens the vote. According to ABC News, “More than 800,000 noncitizens and ‘Dreamers’ in New York City will have access to the ballot box” starting with elections in 2023.
Let’s get some facts on the table. First, this is an action by the city of New York, and it technically allows immigrants to vote only in city elections, not for federal or state races. Technically. Do we trust the process? Second, this is not the first city to allow noncitizen voting. It is legal in many places, and has been in place for many, many years. This is a big deal, because New York is a big deal, and a trendsetter.
Politically, you have to wonder if NYC Dems know that this will reduce confidence in the integrity of elections. It muddies the waters. At a time when the country is being roiled by anxiety about election fraud, this action is divisive rather than healing.
What’s Wrong With Noncitizen Voting?
Noncitizen voting offends the foundational principle of democracy: self-rule. The American revolution, and every democratic revolution since, is grounded in the idea that we the people have the right to rule ourselves rather than a king, a tyrant, or any foreign power.
Advocates argue that all people living in the city have a right to self-rule in that city. Do they mean the 65 million tourists that visit Manhattan every year? Folks from Wisconsin and Tennessee and the Southern states? No. Why would those dopes get a say? This is for foreigners who are not American citizens.
Progressives frame this as racial justice and a fight for immigrant rights. “We build a stronger democracy when we include the voices of immigrants,” said former City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, who led the effort in the New York. What Rodriguez gets wrong is that most NYC immigrants already have the right to vote because most NYC immigrants are citizens. They made the effort to assimilate, learn the laws, pass the test, and take the oath.
New York City is home to 3.1 million immigrants, the largest number in the city’s history. The majority of immigrant New Yorkers are naturalized U.S. citizens.
- Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs 2018 Annual Report
What is most offensive is that the noncitizens voting in New York are also going to be voting in their home countries. Mexico, for example, already protects the right of its expatriates to participate in elections, including the over 10 million Mexicans who live in the United States. They won’t lose that when NYC allows them to vote as well, rather they will get to double vote — something American citizens cannot do.
On June 6, 2021, Mexico allowed electronic voting to its citizen abroad, and over 25,000 people living in the United States were registered to do so.
A report from Pew notes that, “Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, are among the Latin American countries that currently allow citizens abroad to vote. Ecuador, like Mexico, [allowed] citizens to vote for the first time in its presidential elections in 2006.”
The Arc of Progress
One hundred years ago, many if not most citizens were unable to vote. Women had no voting rights. Many minorities in many places were harassed and disenfranchised. It was wrong, but the arc of progress slowly and surely overcame the barriers to equal voting rights. In 1910, the first state gave all women the right to vote, which became the law of the land on August 18, 1920, when the 19th amendment to the Constitution was ratified.
This is the nature of American democracy. Unfortunately, that instinct to make constant progress manifests in ways that are as unlawful as the reactionary wrongs they overcome. In other words, it’s hard for modern progressives to recognize success. There is always another grievance. And it leads them to dumb comparisons, as if modern rules allowing 2 weeks but not 4 weeks of early voting are “Jim Crow 2.0”. Ummm, no.
Citizenship is meaningful, at least it is to most Americans. By chipping away at it’s value, New York wounds democracy. On the contrary, I favor great immigration and just wrote a book advocating for more immigration to America, but only with a robust system of patriotic assimilation.
This is not about racism. And it’s not about immigration. Rather, it reduces the incentive for noncitizen immigrants to become citizens. And it overreaches by allowing foreign students, tourists, and businesspeople to vote — people with no long-term commitment to the city or nation. What’s to stop a hundred thousand Chinese “tourists” from establishing residency and voting in the 2024 presidential election?
You may say, “Hey Kane, that’s alarmist.” To which I say, “This is mild compared to conspiracy fodder you just tossed on the culture wars.” Much worse will be said. Much worse will be believed. That’s the biggest offense of New York’s overreaching progressivism: noncitizen voting erodes trust in elections, trust in government, and ultimately trust in the law.
Progressives remind me of Ferris Bueller, sometimes. They think it’s fun to take their hands of the wheel and hit the gas. They keep pushing. And pushing. And pushing. Someday, Cameron is going to push back.