A few months ago, a vote took place to begin allowing illegal immigrants to vote in municipal elections. This vote took place in the city council of College Park, Maryland. This is a dividing issue among residents that made the vote challenging for some. This case is an example of the continuation of the entire nation’s debate on illegal immigration.
According to the Washington Post, allowing undocumented immigrants to vote came months after Trump began his crackdown on illegal immigration. Activists and city council members responded to Trump by sending a message. They wanted to send a message to anyone in the area, regardless of immigration status. The message they desire to send is to provide support for non-citizens by showing that their voice matters.
Furthermore, prominent members of the community have gotten involved in the matter. “Even if it weren’t for the national context, it would be important for us to vote in support of non-citizens status. We…should experiment in inclusivity wherever we possibly can,” said Andrew Fellows. Fellows is a former mayor of the College Park community.
Not everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Rick Hudson, College Park resident, said, “I came here to have a civil discourse, and I was called a Nazi.”
Emily Weant, another resident, also dissented from the vote. She believes that by allowing non-citizens to vote on things that pertain to matters on U.S. soil, it would negate the efforts of those who became naturalized citizens.She said that it is “a slap in the face to citizens, especially Latino immigrants who have earned their citizenship.”
However, Patrick Wojahn, current mayor of College Park, cast a tie-breaking vote over two city council measures pertaining to non-citizens being allowed to vote. He said,
“To me, expanding access to the right to vote in our city is something that expands our community voice, not contracts it.”
In contrast to Wojahn, Fazlul Kabir abstained from the vote. Kabir, a naturalized American citizen, understands where people on both sides of the issue are coming from. However, he does not believe that those who disagree with granting non-citizens the right to vote are xenophobic or racist. He said, “I have been serving them for many years now, and I know they are not that type of people.”
My take on this
Allowing non-citizens to vote on U.S. matters, why would anyone become a citizen or a permanent resident? Furthermore, I’m concerned that with this leading to a slippery slope. My concern is also due to has that a couple of states are allowing undocumented immigrants to practice American law. New York and California have recently been allowing undocumented immigrants to practice law on American soil.
If one can vote and practice law in a country where they’re not citizens, why bother becoming a citizen? And if people come here illegally to come practice law here, wouldn’t it make sense for us to go to their country to do the same? Our political system may be out of whack if things keep progressing in this matter.