Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) recently introduced a new bill that would prohibit the Washington D.C. Council from using federal funds to allow noncitizens, including illegal immigrants, to vote in elections.
Last month, the D.C. City Council voted to advance a bill that would let non-citizens vote in local elections, the only requirement being that they have resided in D.C. for at least 30 days. The bill has been sent to Mayor Muriel Bowser for approval. In the event that Bowser signs the bill into law, Cruz has also announced his plans to introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution that would overturn the measure.
Commenting on the bill, Cruz said, “Voting is a distinct right and privilege that American citizens enjoy in the United States. It is a responsibility, not to be treated lightly, and it must be protected.”
“Voters decide not only who will lead our country, our cities and communities, but also how our tax dollars should be spent and what policies we should adopt,” added Cruz. “Even the Washington Post agrees that non-citizen voting is a terrible idea. Allowing non-citizens and illegal immigrants to vote in our elections opens our country up to foreign influence, and allows those who are openly violating U.S. law or even working for hostile foreign governments to take advantage and direct our resources against our will.”
Cruz referenced the Washington Post in his comments because, last month, the Post called the controversial bill a “bad idea,” suggesting it could impact Democratic candidates in the midterm elections.
Also fighting against the council’s initiative is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). RJ Hauman, FAIR’s head of government relations and communications, said, “The actions of the D.C. city council and a mayor who is unlikely to veto are the next and most damaging steps in an ongoing effort to erase any distinction between American citizens and noncitizens.”
Last month, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton (R) also introduced a resolution in Congress to block D.C.’s bill. Cotton said, “Allowing illegal immigrants to vote is an insult to every voter in America. Every single Democrat should be on the record about whether they support this instance policy.”
D.C. councilmembers have also argued their perspective, saying that all residents regardless of citizenship status, should be permitted to vote in their community’s elections.
Democratic Councilmember Charles Allen said, “Our immigrant neighbors of all statuses participate, contribute, and care about our community and our city. They, like all D.C. residents, deserve a right to have a say in their government.”
“They raise families here, contribute to their community, they run businesses that people depend on, and they pay taxes that we decide how to spend,” continued Allen. “Yet, they have no ability to elect local leaders that make decisions about their bodies, their businesses, and their tax dollars.”