NYC Council Reaches Deal to Let 800K Immigrant New Yorker Vote in Local Election


The electorate of New York City is going to grow significantly.

The City Council has agreed to enact a bill next month that will allow almost one million immigrants in New York to vote in municipal elections.

The law, drafted by Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, will provide permanent legal residents, the majority of whom are green card holders, the ability to vote.

Rodriguez, a Democratic whose area includes Washington Heights, said on Wednesday that he and Council Speaker Corey Johnson had struck an agreement this week to bring the bill up for a vote on Dec. 9. According to Rodriguez, the legislation already has the backing of a veto-proof majority of the Council, making it a guaranteed triumph.

According to Mayor de Blasio’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, there are about 808,000 immigrants with permanent legal status in the five boroughs.

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They will be able to vote for mayor, comptroller, Council, and other city-level positions under Rodriguez’s bill. The bill does not expand the freedom to vote for state or federal offices such as the president of the United States, a member of Congress, or a governor.

Green card holders, according to immigration proponents, contribute to society in the same manner that citizens do, notably by paying both federal and local taxes.

Some doubts persist about Rodriguez’s bill’s ability to pass legal examination without requiring a state Constitution modification.

De Blasio is one among the naysayers, saying on Tuesday that he is still skeptical about the bill’s legitimacy.

Despite this, de Blasio expressed support for the bill and stated that if it passes the Council, he will not oppose it.

“I do have misgivings,” de Blasio told reporters, “but clearly I want to see precisely what they’re doing.” He added that he “definitely” won’t veto the law, despite his worries about whether it’s “the appropriate approach to go about this.”

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