More and more reports are emerging about communities in the United States pushing agendas to allow non-citizens to vote in upcoming elections.
The latest report comes from a Washington, D.C. suburb in Maryland, which is considering giving their local illegal immigrants the right to vote. If the measure passes, College Park, Maryland will be the largest city in the state to do so.
Located in Prince George’s County, the University of Maryland’s main campus is in College Park, and if the nearly 30,000 American residents who live there agree, then everyone can vote for the mayor and City Council, The Baltimore Sun reported Sunday.
College Park officials have put forth the charter amendment after the divisive national election in which immigration played a prominent role. Many liberal-run cities, including Baltimore, are opposed to President Trump’s immigration crackdown on violations.
Supporters of letting illegals vote in their town say that local elections focus on issues like trash collection and other municipal services which affect the city’s residents, regardless of their citizenship status.
“These are folks who have a significant stake in our community, and who rely on the facilities in our city,” said College Park City Councilwoman Christine Nagle. “To me, it just made sense.”
Others in the community oppose the idea, and have expressed their beliefs that immigrants should not have a say in how their government is run until they have completed the process of becoming a citizen.
“On a personal level, I do not agree that non-citizens should be voting,” College Park City Councilwoman Mary C. Cook said before adding that she will listen to her constituents before making a decision.
Jeff Werner, an advocate for tighter immigration restrictions with the advocacy group Help Save Maryland, told reporters that he is strongly opposed to letting undocumented immigrants vote in American elections. “What gives them that privilege?” He asked.
A total of 10 municipalities across two counties currently allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. Voters in Takoma Park, a liberal enclave in Montgomery County, narrowly approved a referendum which made their town one of the first to allow the practice in Maryland.
Barnesville, Maryland — a small town near Sugarloaf Mountain in Montgomery County — was the first. Their municipality has allowed non-citizens to vote since 1918 and the town of Somerset, which approved non-citizen voting in 1976, was the second.
The number of communities in Maryland that are deciding to give voting rights to people who have no right to be in this country has become the trendy thing to do in recent months. Hyattsville in Prince George’s County approved immigrant voting just last year, followed by Mount Rainier, also in Prince George’s County.
Similar to the other municipalities, The College Park proposal does not distinguish between legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants.
Those in favor of the policy say that’s the way it should be.
“We very intentionally made it so that we did not have questions about citizenship status,” said Patrick Paschall, a former member of the Hyattsville council who championed the legislation there. “It undermines the premise of noncitizen voting to try to draw a distinction.”
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