The Republican National Committee is suing New York Mayor Eric Adams over a law that allows non-citizens to vote in local elections. Adams, the city’s brand new mayor, has said that he supports a city law that will allow as many as 800,000 foreign nationals to vote for local government officials. The law has been a project of city Democrats, who see an opportunity to gain even more votes in a city that they already dominate.
Non-citizen voting law challenged
The basic idea of citizenship is that the citizen is entitled to have a say in government because he is personally invested in the state and will be driven to work towards its long-term success.
Ensuring that a body of citizens will be invested in the state shouldn’t be too difficult; men who wanted to have a say in government were expected to own property and be prepared for military service.
Citizenship is taken for granted now but it was once a radical idea. Citizens were members of an exclusive body which shared power and responsibility in a state.
The Greek city-states, which pioneered the concept of citizenship, emphatically distinguished between citizens and resident foreigners, who could not vote or hold office.
The Founding Fathers intended that the United States be very picky about handing out citizenship to new arrivals, who might not feel sufficiently devoted to their new country.
Now pretty much anyone can become a US citizen, though it’s hardly even worth the effort these days. With even the ability to vote now being extended to non-citizens, why bother becoming one?
The RNC lawsuit attacks New York City Democrats for handing out one of the most fundamental privileges granted to American citizens to resident foreigners.
Democrats can obviously expect to win hundreds of thousands of votes in the city if the law remains in place, so the idea of civic responsibility is unlikely to shake their commitment to the legislation.
The non-citizens still cannot vote in state or federal elections but that change seems almost inevitable at this point. Once America’s largest city has normalized the practice of letting foreigners vote there will be no stopping its spread.
Similar to the problem of dual citizens currently occupying seats in Congress, this is giving a dangerous amount of power to people who have no reason to stick around if things get bad in this country.
Even after they obtain citizenship, legal immigrants tend to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. The voting patterns will be even more lopsided for non-citizen residents.
The aim is to disenfranchise American citizens by diluting the power of their votes and negating legitimate political opposition.