A bill sponsored by liberal New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, D-Fort George, passed the chamber earlier this week, which allows noncitizens to vote in local elections, despite being met with somewhat bipartisan opposition.
Introduction Number 1867 received no support from the council’s four Republican members but passed 33-14 overall, with a pair of abstentions.
One Democratic critic of the bill, Councilman Mark Gjonaj, D-Throggs Neck, warned that it could allow America’s enemies in China and Russia to influence important elections.
“This bill makes the crown jewel of the country vulnerable,” Gjonaj told the New York Post, while centrist Councilman Kalman Yeger, D-Borough Park, declared it “unconstitutional.”
The panel on “The Five” further discussed the legislation, which is expected to be signed into law by outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, as it allows green card holders to have the same electoral rights as U.S. citizens.
“Democrats are claiming Republicans are killing voting in America, [but] they need to look in the mirror,” host Brian Kilmeade said on Thursday. “Is there a worse idea on the planet than diminishing citizenship in America?”
Kilmeade reported that the municipal legislation also garnered support from some of the city’s federal representation, including House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem S. Jeffries of Brooklyn.
In response, host Jesse Watters noted that such legislation should further illustrate why so many voters were concerned about the way the 2020 presidential election was conducted.
“You cannot push noncitizens to vote in U.S. Elections. You can’t do that. You wonder why the Republicans were suspicious about the ballots in 2020. You guys are openly pushing noncitizens to vote in American elections,” he said.
“What if I swam across the Rio Grande and then started voting in Mexico? They would throw [me] in jail so fast.”
Host Geraldo Rivera concurred with Kilmeade, saying that the right to vote is “sacred” and that allowing noncitizens to vote dilutes citizens’ electoral power, while also discouraging American citizen hopefuls from going through the legal process to be sworn in as citizens of the United States, as many immigrants do.
“With New York passing this noncitizen right to vote, [it’s clear] New York would vote to abolish the Army if it was on the ballot,” the New York City native said.
Rodriguez’s bill, if signed by de Blasio, would give about 800,000 noncitizens currently residing in the nation’s largest city the right to vote.
Rodriguez told The Post the bill will make New York “stronger” and motivate more green card holders to become citizens. He pushed back on opposition from national figures like Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
“They will be more interested and engaged and highly motivated to be a citizen, so now they can vote at the federal level,” the Democrat told the paper.
New York State Republican Party Chairman Nicholas Langworthy promised the party will “pursue every legal action to see that this dangerous law is struck down.”