Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Unforced Error

From a column on NYC's dumb new statute permitting non-resident aliens to vote in municipal elections, Mona Charen writes:
Immigrants who make the commitment of citizenship earn the right to vote and other rights. It is one of our crowning glories as a nation that we welcome immigrants as full-fledged Americans. We don’t have tiers of citizenship. But the immigrant must undertake to become an American before he can expect the benefits of citizenship. That means learning our language, our history, and our system (in fact, new citizens are often more conversant with our Constitution than the native-born), abiding by the residency rules, paying a hefty $725 fee, staying out of trouble with the law, and more. Simply living and working here is not an expression of commitment to the future of this country.

Observing a room full of immigrants from around the globe, hands over hearts, taking the oath of citizenship is a moving and inspiring sight. Watching someone from Canada, who just happens to be living in New York for six months, line up to vote is not.
As Charen points out, it's unpopular across the political spectrum (a similar proposal in San Francisco was opposed by 91 percent of GOP voters, 70 percent of independents, and 54 percent of Democrats) and is easily spun into "They want to let the illegal immigrants vote!" ad copy to whip up the nativist vote. 

It's not just wrong, it's monumentally dumb politics.