The D.C. City Council recently adopted the “Local Resident Voting Rights Act of 2021” which allows noncitizens, including those illegally present in the nation, to vote in local elections, including races for mayor, councilmember, attorney general, and the board of education.
Since D.C. is subject to congressional oversight, Republicans filed legislation to block the new law, which passed with bipartisan support on February 9, in a 260 to 162 vote.
The resolution carried the support of every Republican and 42 House Democrats, notably including two Texas Democrats: U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) and Colin Allred (D-TX-32).
The Texan contacted the office of both Cuellar and Allred for comment regarding this story but they were unable to provide a response by the time of publication.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has also filed the resolution in the U.S. Senate and issued a press release blasting the extension of voting rights to non-citizens.
“Allowing non-citizens, including aliens occupying our nation illegally, to exercise a right reserved for American citizens not only violates the constitutional principles our nation was founded upon, but also naively invites foreign meddling in our elections,” Cruz said in the release.
“Voting is a privilege and the tool by which American citizens exercise their say in who leads our country, how we spend our tax dollars, and what policies should be instituted. I am vehemently against unconstitutionally cheapening the votes of American citizens and ignoring the rule of law in this nation.”
Cruz added that in addition to those illegally present in the country being allowed to vote under the law, embassy staff from other countries would be extended the franchise as well.
While the Senate now takes up the resolution, it remains to be seen whether Congress successfully blocks the D.C. law.
According to the city council, it is set to go into effect on March 9.
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Matt Stringer is a reporter for The Texan who writes about all things government, politics, and public policy. He graduated from Odessa College with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Leadership. In his free time, you will find him in the great outdoors, usually in the Davis Mountains and Big Bend region of Southwest Texas.