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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said Friday that the federal government should block funds to cities that allow foreigners to vote, in an indirect reference to New York City’s new law that grants the right to legal immigrants, TPS recipients, or work-permit holders to participate in municipal elections.
In his opinion, no city which allows “non-U.S citizens” to vote should receive federal funds. “Next week I am going to file a bill to make that the law,” Rubio wrote on his Twitter account.
The New York City Council on Thursday approved the embattled measure with 33 votes in favor and 14 against, expanding the voter rolls to about 900,000 new voters.
What does the law say?
NYC is not the only city that allows its foreigners to participate in municipal elections. Between California, Maryland and Vermont, there are 14 municipalities that allow foreigners with legal residencies to elect their local representatives.
Although allowing foreigners to participate in municipal elections is not illegal, the U.S. Code establishes, since 1996, that immigrants cannot vote in federal elections (presidential, congressional or senatorial). However, the Code indicates that immigrants may participate in local elections if the state constitution, statute or local ordinance so provides.