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Democrats Fighting Against Law that Prohibits Non-Citizens from Voting 

Republicans Defend U.S. Democracy with Anti-Noncitizen Voting Bill

The Republican Party is leading a crucial effort to ensure only citizens vote in local Washington D.C. elections, a move that is receiving push back from House Democratic leadership. Such leadership is believed to be actively encouraging party members to stand against this Republican sponsored bill. The legislative measure in question intends to counteract a recently enacted D.C. regulation that grants noncitizens the privilege to participate in local voting processes.

The bill is slated to be put up for vote this week. This vote signifies an act of resurgence from the Republicans, representing their second attempt at vetoing the D.C. law. It comes in response to the contentious ‘D.C. Noncitizen Voting Act’. This law, sanctioned by the D.C. Council in October 2022, surprisingly opened the door for non-U.S. citizens, including illegal immigrants, to vote in D.C.’s local elections.

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Despite being focused on purely local jurisdiction, the federal government can intervene as the District of Columbia falls under Congressional authority. Such a mechanism means that Congress retains the power to annul any laws ratified by the city council. Consequently, the act does not carry over to national elections, but it has certainly earned widespread attention, igniting impassioned debate within Congress.

Seeing the potential damage from the law, Texas Representative Chip Roy and Senator Ted Cruz put forward a bill in January 2023 to restrict noncitizens, including those who may be residing in the country unlawfully, from participating in elections in the nation’s capital. They contended against the D.C. law, labeling it as discordant with the Constitution.

In February 2023, this protective resolution, aimed at striking down the misguided D.C. law, was successfully passed in the House. Despite this victory, the Democrat-majority Senate refrained from taking any action on the resolution, allowing the original city council law to remain in effect.

Built on growing concerns about the law, the Immigration Reform Law Institute, representing local D.C. residents, lodged a lawsuit against the ordinance in March 2023. However, their efforts were effectively extinguished when, in the same month, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit.

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The pending vote on the Republican bill is expected to put House Democrats in a tough spot, especially those under the pressure of competitive districts, possibly forcing them to break ranks with their party leaders. In the previous vote on striking down the D.C. law, as many as 42 Democrats joined Republicans, resulting in a 260-162 win.

Democratic representatives, who are facing challenging future elections, are likely to harmonize with an inescapable political reality. A rising conservative-leaning sentiment among voters is beginning to reshape opinions towards immigration policies, possibly emboldening Democrats to align with tougher approaches on this issue.

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Reinforcing the above point, thirteen Democrats of the House recently bucked party lines. These members sided with the Republicans in support of H. Res. 1112, a resolution intended to criticize President Joe Biden’s and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ lax stance on immigration issues.

Leading the charge against the D.C. ordinance is Texas Republican Representative August Pfluger. Being a strong proponent of legislation that upholds election integrity, Pfluger puts forth a compelling argument for his bill.

Pfluger, in a press release, presented an unequivocal position : ‘If you’re in the United States illegally, you don’t have the right to vote — period.’ He called out liberal factions in D.C. who are in favor of scenarios where noncitizens including illegal immigrants and foreign agents are granted voting rights. He believes such measures risk jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.

The Texas representative further emphasized his stance by introducing his bill, which promises to end such practices. His determined statement concluded with: ‘My bill will put a stop to it.’ The core of his argument centers around instilling confidence in American citizens regarding their electoral processes.

His last words resonate the sentiment of many Americans: ‘Americans deserve confidence in our elections and to know that only legal citizens are voting in the United States of America.’ Undoubtedly, the Texas Congressman’s steadfast commitment to preserving the integrity of the U.S. democratic process affirms the Republican party’s pledge to safeguard the interest of legal citizens.


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