The Hyattsville, Maryland City Council has voted unanimously to allow non-citizens to vote in local elections, a scenario that might have some people questioning its legality.
According to the Washington Post, six other Maryland cities have had such local ordinances in effect for several years. Hyattsville is the first such city in Prince George’s County to adopt the measure.
WUSA reported that this is “seen as a move to further protect immigrants.”
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The WaPo identified the other Maryland communities where non-citizen voting is allowed. They are Takoma Park, Barnesville, Garrett Park, Glen Echo, Martin’s Additions and Somerset, all in Montgomery County.
Another city in Prince George’s County – Mount Rainier – is also considering letting non-citizens vote.
The newspaper was careful to note that, “Noncitizens are still barred from running for office and from voting in county, state or federal elections.”
This comes at a time when there has been considerable discussion about so-called “sanctuary cities,” where illegal aliens are allowed to remain without worries about immigration authorities. But that is coming to a head with the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. He campaigned on getting tough with illegal immigration, and to cut federal support funding to cities that allow sanctuary.
Two years ago, when Kathryn Steinle was gunned down on a San Francisco pier by a recidivist illegal alien who used a gun that had been stolen from the car of a federal law enforcement officer, the issue erupted as a national debate.
In order for non-citizens to vote in Hyattsville, they must have lived in the city for the previous 30 days, the WaPo explained.
WUSA acknowledged that critics wonder why anyone would want citizenship if they are allowed to vote without it. They note that some city leaders estimate the foreign-born population of Hyattsville to be about 35 percent. The community is about three miles northeast from Washington, D.C.
However, on the other side of the Potomac River, things are not the same, WUSA revealed. The station said a local immigrant advocacy group wants cities in the Old Dominion to adopt similar laws, but an employee of the City of Fairfax indicated that’s not going to happen. In Fairfax, the employee apparently noted, officials “follow Commonwealth voting laws,” the station said.
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