Permitting noncitizens to vote in local elections "suffocates liberty" by making governments larger and more powerful, National Review Institute senior fellow Andrew McCarthy told Fox News Digital.
McCarthy, the former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, made the comments after the New York city council last week passed a bill permitting some 800,000 noncitizen residents the right to vote in local elections.
"Democrats are the party of government. If aliens are permitted to vote and do so in support of Democrats, the government will become larger, more intrusive and more redistributionist," McCarthy added. "The bigger government becomes, the more it suffocates liberty and crowds out private investment - meaning funds would increasingly be allocated based on political favor rather than economic efficiency. That is how you kill a prosperous society."
McCarthy said that such a large number of noncitizen voters could offset lagging support for Democrats from U.S. citizens "due to such issues as crime, underperforming and politicized schools and inflation."
He emphasized that "citizenship is fundamental to membership in a national community that shares benefits and burdens; voting must be limited to citizens, because voting is what determines the destiny of the national community."
McCarthy bemoaned that "it is perilous that we even have to point this out, let alone fight over it," because "those principles are rudimentary to a functioning republic."
He added that "the fact that we do necessarily means these principles are losing their persuasive force. It is hard to conceive of how we ultimately survive as a constitutional democracy if we lose attachment to the things that make us a constitutional democracy."
McCarthy also warned that the legislation could harm New York in other ways, saying that "if the voting rights of citizens are canceled out by noncitizens, many of those citizens would relocate to places where their democratic and constitutional rights were protected. That would further erode the tax base of the city at a time when a financial crisis is looming."
New York City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez, who introduced the legislation, defended it by saying that "in one of the most diverse cities in the world, we need to ensure that there is adequate representation for all New Yorkers. That starts by expanding the scope of who is allowed to vote in our local elections. Immigrants in New York City own over half of the local businesses and contribute over $190 billion dollars to the citywide GDP," Fox News reported.
Rodriguez added that more than half of the city's "frontline essential workers are immigrants" and about one in five "are noncitizen New Yorkers."
New York City-based noncitizens will be eligible to register to vote by January 2023. The measure does not include undocumented immigrants, who will not be permitted to vote.
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