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NYC City Council Petitions State Supreme Court Over Illegal Alien Voting Law

An appellate court declared the law unconstitutional last month

NYC City Council Petitions State Supreme Court Over Illegal Alien Voting Law

In an escalating legal battle over the rights of illegal aliens in New York City, the City Council has appealed to the state's top court, seeking to reverse a lower court's decision that invalidated a law granting noncitizens the right to vote in local elections.

The issue began two years ago when New York City lawmakers passed legislation creating a new class of voters called “municipal voters” who would be entitled to vote in elections for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president, and council member.

“Municipal voter,” as used in the bill, means an individual who is not a U.S. citizen on the date of the election, and who meets certain other criteria.

Last month, an appellate court, by a 3-1 vote, declared the law unconstitutional.

“This case concerns the validity of Local Law No. 11 (2022) of City of New York, which created a new class of voters eligible to vote in municipal elections consisting of individuals who are not United States citizens and who meet certain enumerated criteria,” the court wrote. “We determine that this local law was enacted in violation of the New York State Constitution and Municipal Home Rule Law, and thus, must be declared null and void.”

Yesterday, in response, the City Council lodged an appeal against this ruling, elevating the matter to the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

“The Council passed Local Law 11 of 2022 to enfranchise 800,000 New Yorkers who live in our city, pay taxes, and contribute to our communities,” New York City Council spokesperson Rendy Desamours said in a statement.

“Today’s filing to appeal the Second Department’s recent decision seeks a determination from the state’s highest court that the law is consistent with the State Constitution, Election Law, and the Municipal Home Rule Law,” Desamours added. “Empowering New Yorkers to participate in our local democratic process can only strengthen New York City by increasing civic engagement. We look forward to the Court of Appeals’ consideration of the Council’s appeal.”

Supporters of the legislation argue that many of the foreign nationals living and working in New York pay taxes and contribute to their local community, and thus deserve to have representation in government.

"Immigrants are the backbone of New York’s economy and communities. But despite their contributions as taxpayers and community-members, many immigrant New Yorkers do not have the right to participate in local decision-making," said Murad Awawdeh, president and CEO of the New York Immigration Coalition. "The Our City, Our Vote legislation was supposed to change that, by empowering nearly one million New Yorkers with permanent residence status or work authorizations the opportunity to vote in municipal elections.”

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