Illegal Immigrants May Supercharge NonCitizen Voting

By Yiatin Chu, candidate for NY Senate District 11

The coalition called Our City Our Vote is pushing to take the noncitizen voting lawsuit to the highest court in NYS, after it was ruled unconstitutional in February 2024. This started in 2022, when the City Council voted to allow 800,000 green card holders and anyone authorized to work to vote in our city elections. With illegal immigrants reaching 200,000 in NYC and President Biden giving 30,000 entries Temporary Protected Status (TPS) each month – those making it to NY can vote after 30 days. With 5M registered voters in NYC, noncitizens could rapidly become a 1M voting bloc representing 17% of the city.

As the noncitizen voting for municipal elections winds its way through the court, we are facing an urgent situation here in eastern Queens. New York’s Sanctuary State status signed as executive action by former governor Cuomo in 2017 and NY’s 1981 Right to Shelter have been advertised to those crossing our southern border as the place to come. And come they have. In order to comply, Mayor Adams chose Creedmoor to shelter 1,000 single men seeking asylum at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center since August 2023. In February 2024, it was reported that 170 more men will be added. Rallies protesting the siting of 1,000 unvetted men near schools, playgrounds, senior centers and libraries have fallen on deaf ears.

Two weeks ago, I got to see the situation firsthand on Hillside Avenue. Half a dozen single men loitering outside a shuttered CVS. There were men hanging around in parking lots. The commercial strip has fallen in a state of decline with empty storefronts and probably with more to come. Fewer stores leads to lower foot traffic which leads to more store closures. A week later, I returned to the same area and drove past the entrance to Creedmoor at 9:30pm. There was one police car across the street and three dozen men standing around, playing loud music. As the weather warms, this situation will surely worsen.

Locating over 1,000 unvetted single men at Creedmoor has made residents alert and afraid. Who can blame them? Our electeds have prioritized the well-being of those who came here illegally – only 2% have filed for asylum – over the safety and concerns of residents, homeowners, and taxpayers of New York.

In addition to security concerns, there is heightened awareness that we are paying for all of this. Our city recently started a pilot program to give $1,200 monthly on debit cards to migrant households. This is on top of what taxpayers are already spending – $388 per day or $12,000 a month in expenses. Most New Yorkers earn half that in wages and have to pay taxes and pay for our own housing, food and transportation.

We are told by the City that Creedmoor is “temporary,” yet nothing has been done by the Biden administration to change the policy at the borders. Nearly 200,000 have come to NYC in the past two years, and we see no signs of that slowing down. While the progressive city council members sue for us to do more, give more and welcome more, New Yorkers who are footing the bill are looking to leave. According to the latest census, 78,000 residents left in 2023. And more than 550,000 have left since April 2020, representing 6% of our population.

If the coalition for noncitizen voting is successful in the highest court of New York State, we could have one million newly eligible voters who arrived here illegally in our next election for city council, comptroller and mayor. Why does that matter?

Because in the 2021 mayoral election, only 1.1 million people voted. With the largest share of illegal immigrants diverted to Queens, 38%, we will be most affected electorally by noncitizen voting by this outsized population.

https://www.cityandstateny.com/policy/2024/03/where-are-asylum-seekers-living- new-york-city/395176/

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