When polled back in 2016, more than half of Republicans (60%) reported believing that illegal immigrants vote in elections. There’s been much debate over whether that allegation is true or not, but the issue has made its way to one New York courtroom after the city attempted to legalize noncitizen voting.
According to reports, a New York judge has blocked the city from allowing noncitizens to vote for the city’s mayor and other municipal offices. The issue made its way to the courts after New York city decided to grant municipal voting rights to noncitizens in January. Citizens opposed to the changes petitioned local courtrooms to denounce the new measures as unconstitutional.
Advocates for the new measure, on the other hand, pointed to the fact that many noncitizens who pay taxes in New York aren’t given a voice when they are prohibited from voting.
Judge Ralph Porzio was in charge of making a decision. According to the judge, provisions within the state constitution and state election laws give voting rights exclusively to citizens. By conferring that right to so many other individuals, the measure would be violating a true New York City resident’s rights.
This new ruling will reportedly bar over 800,000 new voting registration applications. Statistics revealed that about one in nine New York City residents are legally documented non-citizens that can’t vote.
What Rights Do I Have as a New York City Resident?
The right to vote might be taken for granted by many, but it’s still a very crucial one. Having the right to vote means having the ability to have your voice heard and playing a role in voting for our political leaders. United States citizens have a number of rights that noncitizens don’t have. Those rights include (but are not limited to):
- The right to speak freely
- The right to vote freely in public and open elections
- The right to practice religion
- The right to live in the US
- The right to be free from unlawful search and seizures
- The right to a fair and speedy trial
- The right to bear arms
- The right to be free from discrimination due to sex, race, or disability
Unfortunately, noncitizens do not automatically obtain these rights just by moving into New York City. Immigrants who want to enjoy all the rights and benefits of citizenship must go through the process legally and obtain their rightful legal citizenship. Without this citizenship, immigrants only have some basic rights, which do not include the right to vote in federal or local elections.
Do You Have More Legal Questions?
Are you currently a resident of New York? Do you have more questions about your legal rights, responsibilities, and options? If you have legal questions, then we have the answers.
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