From the Times Ledger:
Ten City Council members were preparing to introduce a bill that would extend municipal voting rights to legal immigrants, but not all lawmakers are pushing for suffrage.
The potential bill would allow the city’s 1.3 million tax-paying immigrants who hold green cards — and about 500,000 live in Queens — to vote in local elections, according to a spokeswoman from I Vote New York City, an advocacy group.
That means that non-citizens could vote for the mayor, the city comptroller, the city public advocate, members of the City Council and the borough presidents.
“They are entitled to vote in their elections,” said Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone). “When you’re a citizen of America, you have the right to decide America’s future. If it’s their intention to vote, they can become citizens.”
He added that legal immigrants do not have a vested interest in the community and are not considered when passing legislation.
“They’re not apportioned when we look at constituents,” he said. “That’s not how it’s done.”
Halloran also said that the legislation might run into legal trouble.
The language in it was vague, he said, and would be at risk for manipulation by people of questionable resident status.
“If somebody is here on a student visa or a work visa, that is generally intended to be a non-permanent,” he said. “They have no business voting.”
Halloran added that the measure might not even be legal, since the U.S. Constitution requires voters to be citizens and New York state requires them to be residents.
“It’s in violation of federal and state law,” Halloran said. “It has no chance.”