Voting Rights for Foreigners Devalues American Citizenship

March 1, 2016 | PFIR

Sleep-deprived people are almost guaranteed to make bad decisions, according to a new study. Maybe that’s why lawmakers in the City That Never Sleeps think it’s a good idea to give non-citizens, including illegal aliens, the right to vote.

That’s right. New York City is seriously considering giving noncitizens a ballot in upcoming mayoral and city council elections.

This terrible idea isn’t just politically unsound. It would also fundamentally devalue citizenship.

Letting noncitizens vote in local elections is akin to letting the student body decide whether their college football team should go for a two-point conversion after a touchdown. Sure, the spectators are invested in the game, just as noncitizens might be invested in their current city of residence.

But ultimately, spectators don’t have the right to decide the team’s next play. They’re not part of the team — so they shouldn’t have to power to make important decisions that will affect team members long after fans leave the stadium.

In the same way, non-citizens — who can always return home if they don’t like the direction things are headed — shouldn’t be able to sway hugely important referendums and elections and saddle citizens with the consequences.

Letting non-citizens vote gives them all the rights of being American citizens without any of the duties. For instance, citizens are expected to serve jury duty. Noncitizens, however, are automatically disqualified from jury duty. And not all noncitizens need to file taxes.

On a deeper level, granting voting rights to non-citizens would significantly dilute the voting power of citizens who have long suffered oppression.

For much of the nation’s history, African-Americans and women were denied their Constitutional rights to vote. Non-citizens, by definition, do not have a such a right. Creating one out of thin air would be a slap in the face to all the civil rights activists who struggled and sacrificed to secure equal rights for all citizens.

Allowing noncitizens to vote is a harmful and insulting idea. Lawmakers should reject it in a New York minute.

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