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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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New York grants the right to vote to legal permanent residents

The American city of New York has approved this Thursday to grant the right to vote in local elections to legal resident migrants, making it the largest city in the country to do so.

The New York City Council, controlled by the Democrats, has given the green light to the bill by 33 votes in favor to 14 against, reports the US network CNN.

The legislation, known as ‘Our city, our vote’, indicates that non-citizens who have lived in the city for at least 30 days and are permanent legal residents of the United States can vote in local elections.

Thus, it includes the holders of the well-known ‘Green Card’ – the Permanent Resident Card -, migrants with work permits and holders of the immigration program of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, for their acronym in English) – a way to regularize the undocumented.

These people will now be able to go to the polls to vote for mayor, municipal presidents, municipal council or public defender.

The project has been promoted mainly by councilor Ydanis Rodríguez, originally from the Dominican Republic, who has celebrated that with this measure an “important change that recognizes the contributions of migrants has been made.”

However, the measure has also sparked controversy, as has the effect on African-American communities. In this regard, Democrat Laurie Cumbo, has indicated that the legislation “is going to change the dynamics of power in New York in an important way” when the information is not available “to know how this will affect the African-American communities that have been the most vulnerable in their existence “in the city.

The top five countries of birth of migrants in the city are the Dominican Republic followed by China, Mexico, Jamaica and Guyana, according to data on the immigrant population from the Office of Immigrant Affairs of the Mayor’s Office of New York.

With this measure, New York joins other US cities, such as Maryland or San Francisco, which allow non-citizens to vote.

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