Black and Hispanic Activists Backing Proposal to Allow Illegal Residents Right to Vote

February 26, 2016 by No Comments

New legislation is being debated throughout New York City as a bill has been proposed that would allow undocumented noncitizens the right to vote in the city’s 2017 elections.

According to, many of New York’s black and Hispanic activists are backing the proposal, which would give illegal aliens the right to vote for mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough president and City Council.

According to The New York Post, documented green-card holders and undocumented noncitizens are not allowed to vote. If passed, the legislation would give voting rights to the 1.3 million noncitizen residents of New York City.

The Black Institute, an immigration rights group, is campaigning for the passage of this bill.

“We want to expand the right to vote for everybody, not suppress the vote. What a radical idea,” said Bertha Lewis, head of the Black Institute.

Lewis believes voting rights should be allowed for the many undocumented immigrants who hold jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the city’s economy. She hopes it will allow illegal aliens the ability to contribute more to their communities.

Without the right to vote, undocumented citizens aren’t able to have a say in policies that may affect them or their families. Many are living without health benefits, including dental. Statistics show a direct correlation between class and dental health.

With undocumented residents unable to secure healthcare, they aren’t able to receive regular medical and dental care; the latter is something that 74% of Americans feel can hurt their chances of career success if it leads to an unattractive smile. However, without luxuries that many American citizens consider to be basic fundamentals, illegal aliens are constantly sacrificing.

Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams has endorsed the proposal.

“There will be a lot of support for it in the City Council. We want people to participate in civic life and be invested in what happens. It will lead to a healthier community,” said Williams.

Those in opposition of the bill, such as state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long, say voting rights should only be extended to American citizens.

“This is outrageous… American Citizens have the right to determine the destiny of towns, villages, cities, states and the country,” Long said.

The legislation is expected to be presented this spring.

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