Becoming a citizen of a democracy equals having a constructive say in all the major decisions of the administration of democracy. And as it is widely known, immigration services NYC has been running voraciously for a long time as immigrants have been an integral part of the culture and economy of New York.
Since the late 20th century, immigration in New York City has nourished the city’s economic status; thus, it goes without saying the future of New York will be interlaced with each other. Therefore, it is high time when they are involved in the nuances of the authorities, such as voting rights.
On December 9, 2021, a bill had been passed approving voting rights of noncitizens or often referred to as immigrants, in municipal elections. And although it has stirred a plethora of scornful remarks and sharp criticisms from the opponent right-wing nationals, it has been a major development in the immigration arc of New York.
The Bill was allowed legislation to become a law by Mayor Eric Adams, with the utmost support. It allowed almost 800,000 immigrants and Dreamers ( children who were forcefully brought to New York and have been in the city as noncitizen inhabitants), i.e., green card holders and beneficiaries protected from deferred action from January 2023. The New York City Board of Elections is in charge of deciding on the implementation of the Bill.
The highlights of the Bill are :
- The immigrant-friendly Bill potentially embodies the allowance of the right of immigrants in New York to vote in municipal elections: to cast ballots and directly share their opinion for Mayor, Borough presidents, City Council, public advocate, comptroller. But it is not extended to state and federal elections.
- The voting rights apply to 800,000 citizens who have inhabited and worked in the city for a least 30 days, including permanent residents who are legally entitled, have working documents, and the ” Dreamers ” of the United States.
The Bill was passed in a city council of 33-14 majority. It had given rise to the war of words, a sentimental set of circumstances with a roundabout of conjuring up early immigrant histories associated with ancestors and conflicting debates, especially regarding the 30-day specification in the Bill.
Mayor Eric Adams has expressed his unconditional support for the Bill even though he claimed it was a controversial bill that sparked emotional debates among its opponents. It can also be fairly concluded that Mayor Adams has been compassionate towards the status of the immigrants in the city and that New Yorkers should have a footing in the government’s decisions about taxes, liabilities, debt. He also mentioned that he looked forward to bringing more people into the process.
Ydanis Rodriguez, a former council member who was a leader in the legislation, had asserted that a stronger democracy is built when the voices of the immigrants are included. With this, he had expressed his gratitude for the support extended from the Mayor and that he had expected a fitting defense against any probable challenges.
In the end, the privilege of becoming a citizen of New York is a great one when one is becoming a deserving citizen of the country. Therefore, this Bill will open more avenues for immigrants and will give them a foothold in the face of the immigration citizenship of New York. This will democratize the administration of the country and fuel a sense of democracy within the noncitizens of New York.