When Republicans last September put forth a non-binding resolution opposing allowing illegal immigrants to vote in local elections, 49 Democrats joined them to secure passage. What a difference a few months make.
Now in the minority, Republicans attempted to add language to the so-called For the People Act of 2019, a sweeping proposal to overhaul the election and campaign finance system, stating that “allowing illegal immigrants the right to vote devalues the franchise and diminishes the voting power of United States citizens.”
While the Act passed, the motion to recommit with that language was defeated 228-197 and every Democrat but six opposed it. Among the opposition Democrats were 41 members who had voted to approve similar] language just six months ago.
Federal law already prohibits non-citizens from voting in elections for federal office, so the resolution was not important for what it would have done. What makes the vote important is now the message the House of Representatives sent.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, the Texas Republican who sponsored the motion, said it would “show the American people that despite the deep and growing differences between us, we can at least agree that the people who vote for us are citizens” of the United States.
“This is a simple affirmation. It is an affirmation of the fact that the elected representatives of this body answer to the citizens of this country who voted for us,” the veteran of the Afghanistan war continued.
“And these newcomers make America more American. And we want them, when they come here, to be fully part of our system. And that means not suppressing the vote of our newcomers to America,” she said.
Her position is not that surprising given the impetus for the GOP resolutions was born in Pelosi’s home district of San Francisco, which last July began allowing noncitizens to vote in local school board elections.
A victory for those advocating the normalization of violating U.S. immigration laws, the effort to register illegal immigrants was a defeat for taxpayers. According to the Sacramento Bee, San Francisco spent $310,000 – or $6,300 per voter – to create a separate voter database and to register fewer than 50 noncitizens and illegal immigrants.
Last year, a poll conducted jointly by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found 69 percent of Americans were opposed to San Francisco’s move to allow immigrants, including illegal aliens, to vote in local school board elections. Only 31 percent said they supported the measure.
Furthermore, there was majority opposition to allowing illegal immigrants to vote in both the Republican (91 percent) and Democrats (55 percent).
“It makes perfect sense, and that’s what we’ve seen in polling on this issue where even Republicans, obviously, overwhelmingly oppose it, but even Democrats think it’s a bad idea, and independents think it’s a really, really bad idea,” Republican pollster Jim McLaughlin told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha.
But there is concern that an increasing number of localities are following San Francisco’s lead.
Last month, the city council in Charlotte, North Carolina, opened the door to allowing legal and illegal immigrants to serve on local advisory boards and commissions. It is unlikely that the House-passed election bill will go anywhere in the Senate, but if elected representatives sell their principles for future votes as those 41 Democrats did, it will only be a matter of time before anyone can exercise the most treasured of American rights.