The city of College Park, Maryland, voted on Tuesday night to grant illegal immigrants the right to vote in its local elections.
After a close vote that saw the measure pass with four votes for, three against, and one abstention, all illegal aliens, foreigners with student visas, and green card holders received a green light to participate in the city’s electoral contests.
“It’s not a big surprise at all, and it fits in to be a larger trend in Maryland,” Logan Churchwell, spokesman for the Public Interest Legal Foundation, told LifeZette. “There’s a handful of very small local jurisdictions, like towns and school boards, that fit the same bill and have allowed noncitizens to vote.”
“Their argument is, ‘Well, they live here, too, and their children are impacted by the policies of these political jurisdictions, so of course they should have the vote,’ or that their sales tax purchases go to local issues, etc,” Churchwell told LifeZette. “That’s the argument they try to make — it’s just more inclusive civics, as it were.”
But “the larger play here is they can experiment with these things and not have to worry about political blowback, and they also don’t have to worry about constitutional issues in their state courts because their constitution gives them the opportunity … to determine voter eligibility rules for their own local elections,” explained Churchwell.
Immigrants clearly make up a significant portion of the population of College Park. According to The Washington Post, “about 20 percent of College Park’s 32,275 residents are foreign-born … The University of Maryland campus, with more than 27,000 undergraduates, has about 3,600 international students.”
But Churchwell told LifeZette that unlike the Democrats’ general desire to grant amnesty to illegal aliens, which is blatantly based on the desire for more electoral votes, something much different is at play in Maryland.
“It’s not like they’re to impact elections now or next week or next year,” said Churchwell. What “I always remind people is, number one, do not get caught up in the constitutionality, because it’s totally legal. Don’t get caught up in the trying to throw elections one way or the other. But, most importantly, be cognizant of the fact that the architects of this type of legislation, regardless of jurisdiction size, are trying to incrementally desensitize the American citizen and the American voter to the idea that noncitizens, non-Americans, can and should vote.”
Churchwell continued: “All you’ve got to do is look at [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)]. Just rewind the tape on DACA, because originally people said that ‘They’re in the shadows, we feel sorry for them,’ and then it was, ‘Well, the people we’re most worried about came here as children, and they only know America, they don’t know Mexico, they were two when they came here.’ Now it’s, ‘What are we going to do, are we just going to send them home, split up families, they only know this country, they’re [as] American as you and me, they were just born in a different place.'”
Churchwell stressed that the key to the Left’s being able to normalize something as radical as allowing noncitizen voting is doing so slowly and incrementally. “They’re trying to normalize it, just as [they normalized] not throwing a fit that illegal immigrants are clogging up your emergency room or waiting room, or getting access to subsidized insurance coverage in places like California,” he said.
“One of the last categories that we still reserve for United States citizens is voting rights,” Churchwell continued. “You’ve got to chisel away at that, and you can’t do it overnight. If Maryland decided to pass a law that said if you want to vote for a state officer, not a federal one, but from the governor down — that would go down in flames if they tried to do it in a very quick timeline.”
“But by very slowly letting these little townships and these school boards and so on, over time that big reformer will be able to say, ‘Hey, look, half of our townships allow this anyway, why won’t we let them vote for their state representative?'” said Churchwell. “It’s that incremental approach — that’s what wins the day here.”
(photo credit, homepage image: Famartin, Wikimedia; photo credit, article image: Gyrofrog, Wikimedia)