San Francisco has become California's first city to register non-American citizens to vote in local elections after issuing voter registration for illegal aliens for the upcoming Board of Education election.
In order to be eligible to vote, the illegals must be at least 18 years old, reside in San Francisco, and be the parents, legal guardians, or caregivers of children under the age of 19 who also live in San Francisco, the Daily Wire reports.
The measure to allow non-citizens to vote passed in 2016 with a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent.
KTVU notes that some believe that undocumented voters may opt out of voting, however, out of concerns that registration records are public and could be obtained by federal immigration authorities.
Department of Elections Supervisor Norman Yee attempted to downplay the registration of illegal aliens by referring to them as "immigrants." "We want to give immigrants the right to vote," he said.
Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer adds that all parents in San Francisco should have a say in their child's education, regardless of whether the parents are here illegally. "As a parent myself and a former member of the SF Board of Education it is critical that the voices of all parents are at the table particularly those that have historically been denied a voice in the process," she asserted.
And Stevon Cook, vice president of the SFUSD Board of Education, used the opportunity to take direct aim at President Trump. "Voting is paramount to having a voice," said Cook. "Seeing our families feel like they have to go into hiding, like they can't have their concerns heard because of the attacks from the White House is something we want to stand firmly against. This is part of an overall strategy that assures that families in our city, whether they're citizens or not, they have a voice in the direction and future of our schools."
According to School Board member Matt Haney, the entire school board is in support of it.
But Republican National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon of California is opposed to the measure and states she voted against it in 2016, contending that it would disincentivize immigrants from becoming citizens. "The reason I voted against it is that I think the right to vote is something that goes along with citizenship and should be," said Dhillon.
Dhillon also pointed out that it is already in the school board's best interest to look out for the children in the system. "I don't think that people who have otherwise tenuous ties to San Francisco given their lack of legal residence should be making long-term decisions about that structure and process," said Dhillon.
Non-citizen voting will continue at every Board of Education election until November 2022, when the ordinance expires, unless another is adopted.
But San Francisco's move is inspiring other left-leaning cities to allow non-citizens to vote in their local elections.
Portland, Maine, Mayor Ethan Strimling and City Councilor Pious Ali are bringing forward a proposal to allow some non-citizens to vote in local elections, the Press Herald reports. Their proposal would allow legal immigrants to vote in municipal elections such as school board races and City Council. Undocumented immigrants would not be permitted to vote.
Next City reports that the Boston City Council held its first hearing to consider a proposal to allow non-citizens with legal status to vote in city elections on July 10. Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell claims it could be another step toward making Boston "more inclusive."
“All members of a community should have the right to participate and be included in the governance of that community,” Campbell’s order states, noting that Boston has a foreign-born population of more than 190,000, or 28 percent.
Several U.S. cities already allow non-citizens to vote, a number of which are in Maryland. One such city is Tacoma Park, where both legal and illegal immigrants are permitted to vote and can also run for local office. Chicago also offers non-citizen voting.
Unfortunately, supporters of non-citizen voting rely too often on arguments touting the benefits of democracy. San Francisco State political science professor Ron Hayduk claims allowing immigrants to vote is based in the earliest arguments for democracy, seemingly unaware that America is in fact not a democracy but a republic.
The Founding Fathers understood the dangers of democracy. Alexander Hamilton stated, "Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of a dictatorship." And Thomas Jefferson observed, "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away rights of the other forty-nine."
Instead, America's Founders opted for a constitutional republic. Sadly, it seems few others understand the difference.