White House Signals Support For Non-Citizens Voting In DC
A proposal to have non-citizens vote in local elections is picking up steam in some Democratic Party circles, including the Biden White House.
The Biden administration appears to be supporting such a move, which is met with fierce criticism by Republicans.
In 2022, the Washington D.C. City Council approved a law that would allow foreign nationals, including those without any legal status in the United States, to vote in the capital’s school board and council elections. This would include diplomats from Russia and China, as well as illegal immigrants to vote.
President Biden’s support for the law was signaled by a memo. The White House opposed the House bill to override the City Council’s “Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022.”
The White House said that for “far too long, the more than 700,000 residents of Washington D.C. have been deprived of their full representation in the US. Congress” and that the Republican efforts to overturn both the voting change and proposed criminal sentencing law are “examples of how the District of Columbia continues to be denied true self-governance and why it deserves statehood.”
White House Press Secretary Kaine Jean-Pierre during a press briefing. She said that while Biden “does not support allowing noncitizens to vote in federal elections,” and that the White House had no comment.
Since D.C.’s city government is controlled by the federal government, there is a considerable opportunity to stop the plan from being implemented.
A number of Democrats joined Congressional Republicans in blocking a proposed crime bill that would have reduced sentences for a number of crimes. After President Biden announced that he would not veto the bill, the City Council withdrew it.
The effort against the voting change also follows significant Republican opposition to non-citizens voting. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced a bill that would bar such a practice in the nation’s capital.
The D.C. City Council’s decision would also come with considerable legal concerns, including whether or not it would survive a court challenge. A similar effort in New York was struck down by the Richmond County Supreme Court.