the federalist

Letting Noncitizens Vote In U.S. Elections Is Foreign Interference

This week, a law went into effect allowing foreign nationals — here legally or illegally — to vote in D.C. municipal elections. To vote in D.C. elections, you must be over 30 years old and have lived in the District of Columbia for at least 30 days.

The most alarming aspect of this new law is the possibility for foreign interference in the election in Washington. American elections now allow foreign nationals from Russia, China, and other embassies to vote.

There was concern about foreign interference in American elections. en vogue 2016

Worse, expanding the right to vote to those who aren’t citizens of the United States undermines the concept of citizenship. Citizenship is a commitment to America and an interest in the country’s future. These foreign nationals who live in D.C. do not have any investment in America’s future.

It is not difficult to imagine that there are people who spy on this country.

The House has 42 Democrats opposed to the proposal, which is bipartisan. The Senate passed the resolution, but Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader in the Senate refused to let it be voted on.

This law is not a fluke. New York City passed a law that allowed foreign nationals to vote for municipal elections. We are challenging the law in federal court as it was made with a racial motivation. San Francisco also passed legislation allowing foreign nationals the right to vote in school board elections.

The D.C. Council doesn’t seem to have acted with illegal motivations, so the chances of the law being reversed in court are minimal. It is up to Congress to end this growing threat against American sovereignty.

Citizenship should have a meaning. Many foreigners have spent many years in our country, gaining citizenship status. The citizenship status came with responsibilities as well as the long-cherished right to vote.

This law allowing foreign nationals the right to vote is a disgrace to those who arrived legally and have worked hard to obtain citizenship.

It also decreases the century-old struggle of black Americans for the right vote. Black Americans have fought for the right to vote from Reconstruction to civil rights movements in the 1960s. To stop foreign nationals influencing their votes, black Americans must fight back.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is fighting these laws regarding foreign citizen voting. In New York City, PILF filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of four black New York City voters to have the city’s foreign voting bill declared unconstitutional for violating the 15th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act. And in San Francisco, PILF filed an amicus curiae brief to support the striking down of San Francisco’s law allowing foreigners to vote.

Only Americans should vote in our elections. This issue is supported by both parties. When we allow foreign nationals vote in elections, the real foreign interference occurs.

We must stop allowing anyone who is able to leave the country at any time to have a voice in its future.

We must preserve the right to vote, and stop allowing foreign nationals’ votes to be diminished by American citizens.


J. Christian Adams is President of the Public Interest Legal Foundation. He is a former Justice Department Attorney and currently serves as a commissioner on the United States Commission for Civil Rights.

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