Boston Federal Authorities Want to Allow Non-U.S. Citizens to Vote in Local Elections
BOSTON — July 10, 2018
The City Council’s Committee on Government Operations will hold a hearing today to discuss allowing immigrant residents who have legal status in the United States, to participate in municipal elections.
That could include legal permanent residents, visa holders and those on Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
According to City Council President Andrea Campbell, who requested the hearing, the purpose of the Boston's local government, including the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement, is to strengthen the ability of diverse, cultural, and linguistic communities to play an active role in the economic, civic, social and cultural life of the City.
"Immigrant residents account for almost 28.5% of the city’s population. A spending report from 2015 said immigrant residents in the city have paid $116 million in state and local taxes and generated about $3.4 billion in spending." Campbell said.
The city is constantly exploring methods that will make its local election more inclusive by encouraging the participation of legal permanent residents, visa holders and residents who are legally residing in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Campbell, in a Twitter post on Monday, cautioned that “Tomorrow is just a conversation, not a vote on an ordinance. I can no longer only go to rallies or send resolutions to Trump; what can we DO at the local level to support our immigrants? The discussion will include voting & OTHER possibilities.”
In 2016, Hyattsville, Maryland provided an opportunity for non-citizen voting. San Francisco allows non-citizens to vote in school board elections if their child attends a local public school. The situation is similar in Chicago.