Democrats To Formally Oppose GOP Effort To Block DC Law That Allows Non-Citizens To Vote: REPORT

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House Democratic leadership is reportedly urging members to oppose a GOP bill that would bar the Washington, D.C., city government from allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections.

House Democratic leadership will be sending their whip team to encourage as many members as possible to vote against Republican legislation that would strike down a D.C. law allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections, according to a whip question obtained by Axios. The upcoming vote, slated for this week, will mark the second time congressional Republicans have tried to reject the D.C. law. (RELATED: ICE Points To Biden Admin Policy As Reason Illegal Immigrant Accused Of Murdering Teen Was Out Free)

The D.C. Noncitizen Voting Act, which the D.C. Council passed in October 2022, allows residents without citizenship, including illegal immigrants, to cast ballots in local elections. Although it’s a local ordinance and does not apply to federal elections, the District of Columbia is under the jurisdiction of Congress, meaning Congress has the authority to strike down laws passed by the council.

After the D.C. Noncitizen Voting Act was passed, Republicans at the local and national level immediately moved to strike it down.

Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy and Sen. Ted Cruz introduced legislation in January 2023 in the House and Senate, respectively, that would’ve prevented illegal immigrants and noncitizens from voting in the nation’s capital, arguing the ordinance was unconstitutional.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 27: Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) speaks to reporters outside of a House Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on September 27, 2023, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“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 to the Daily Caller at the time.

House Republicans went on to pass a resolution striking down the D.C. ordinance in February 2023. However, that resolution was not taken up by the Democrat-controlled Senate, allowing it to remain law.

Additionally, local D.C. residents represented by the Immigration Reform Law Institute filed a lawsuit against the ordinance in March 2023. That lawsuit, however, was later struck down by a federal judge in March.

The upcoming vote will likely force many House Democrats in competitive districts to defy party leadership. The last vote to reject the D.C. law  passed 260-162, meaning 42 Democrats voted with Republicans at the time.

With an upcoming election and polls indicating that voters are shifting increasingly right on border enforcement, vulnerable Democrats have adopted more hardline stances on the issue. Thirteen House Democrats earlier this month joined Republicans in backing H. Res. 1112, a resolution that denounced President Joe Biden’s and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ immigration policies.

Texas Republican Rep. August Pfluger is a sponsor of the newest bill to nullify the D.C. ordinance. The lawmaker touted the need for his legislation in a Monday statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“If you’re in the United States illegally, you don’t have the right to vote — period,” Pfluger said. “Liberals in Washington, D.C., who want to allow noncitizens, including illegal immigrants and foreign agents, to vote are putting the integrity of our election system at risk. My bill will put a stop to it.”

“Americans deserve confidence in our elections and to know that only legal citizens are voting in the United States of America,” the Texas congressman continued.

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