New York City Mayor Eric Adams has given the final green light to a law approved last month that allows immigrants living in the city to vote in local elections.
Adams, who in the past had expressed some doubts about the measure, let the deadline to veto the new legislation expire, so it officially went into effect this Sunday.
With it, the Big Apple will become the first major U.S. city to allow green card holders, people with work permits or temporary protection status, as well as those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, known as “dreamers,” to vote in municipal elections.
In total, almost 900,000 people will be added to the census, a large part of them immigrants of Latino origin, who will be able to elect their mayor, councilmen and other local officials.
“I believe that New Yorkers should have a say in their government, which is why I have and will continue to support this important legislation,” Adams said in a brief statement.
The mayor, a Democrat like his predecessor, acknowledged that he “initially had some concerns” about certain aspects of the rule, but assured that these have disappeared after conversations with some of his colleagues.
“I believe allowing the legislation to be enacted is by far the best choice, and look forward to bringing millions more into the democratic process,” he said.
The measure was approved in December by the Democratic-majority City Council after four previous attempts to move it forward over the past 12 years failed.