Law allowing non-citizens to vote in US challenged in court
A law that will allow nearly 1 million non-citizen permanent residents of New York City to vote in city elections has been challenged by the state’s Republican Party, who are suing to declare the statute unconstitutional.
New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy and Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella led the group of Republican city lawmakers seeking to block the new law enfranchising non-citizen New Yorkers who have lived in the city for over 30 days and have green cards or certain types of visas. They filed the lawsuit in state court on Staten Island on Monday, aiming to block the implementation of the law, which they insist is unconstitutional.
“The law is clear and the ethics are even clearer: We shouldn’t be allowing citizens of other nations to vote in our elections, full stop,” Langworthy said, promising to “use every legal tool in our arsenal to block this unconstitutional and un-American law.” He accused incoming Mayor Eric Adams of “kowtowing to the radical City Council” by advancing their “ultimate goal of eradicating all the lines between citizens and non-citizens.”
Fossella also denounced the measure, claiming it “cheapens what it means to be a citizen and is an insult to every immigrant who has followed the law, taken citizenship classes, and swore an oath to our nation.” Several naturalized citizen immigrant New Yorkers are participating in the lawsuit, including City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov.
Over 800,000 non-citizen permanent residents will be permitted to vote in city elections under the controversial new law that Adams allowed to pass earlier this month. The new mayor stood aside to let the measure become law after the City Council approved it, opening the door to voting for ‘Dreamers’ and permanent residents with green cards and certain types of visas. However, the law does not allow voting for these groups in federal or state elections.
In addition to a permanent injunction blocking the law’s implementation, the suit seeks to have it declared unconstitutional and in violation of New York state law.