NYC Council Looks To The Highest Court For Non-Citizens To Vote

March 26, 2024
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The New York City Council has asked the highest court in the state to overturn two decisions. This move would allow noncitizen immigrants to vote in city elections.

Last year, the City Council passed a law allowing 800,000 noncitizens with green cards to vote in local elections. But a court said this law was not allowed by the constitution.

Now, the City Council wants the highest court to say their law is okay. They say this would make New York City stronger by letting more people take part in elections.

The Council argues that noncitizens who live here legally should vote because they pay taxes and help their communities.

The case will go to New York’s Court of Appeals.

One of the people against this law, Staten Island President Vito Fossella, said, “Only citizens can vote, according to the constitution. The City Council can’t change that.”

Mayor Eric Adams didn’t join this legal challenge. He has been quiet about the law lately. He had some worries about it when he first became mayor. But he later said it was a good idea.

The mayor’s office didn’t say anything right away about the legal challenge.

Advocates who support the law held a rally outside City Hall. They want the mayor and others to support their idea.

“Some people are trying to stop immigrants and people of color from voting,” said Taina Wagnac from the New York Immigration Coalition. “But we’re fighting for justice.”

Some Republican politicians challenged the law in January 2022. They said it was against the constitution and would make the votes of citizens less important.

US Rep. Nicole Malliotakis from Staten Island was happy when the court first stopped the law. She said it’s very important to keep our elections fair.

This is the second time the City Council has lost in court about this law. The first time was in 2022.

We don’t know yet when the highest court will decide on this case.

This legal fight is happening while many people are talking about asylum seekers. This could be an important issue for voters in November.

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