A legal immigrant is pushing back on New York City for considering granting voting rights to reportedly 800,000 non-citizens in the Big Apple, arguing that being an American citizen is a “blessing” and only citizens should have the ability to partake in elections.
Mayra Flores, Mexican immigrant and congressional candidate in south Texas, joined “Fox & Friends First” on Wednesday to discuss the bill, arguing its passage would dis-incentivize immigrants from pursuing the proper legal channels to come to America.
“We want to encourage people to come here the legal way… you don’t have to go through this horrible journey where you’re putting your life at risk and having to pay the criminal organizations in Tamaulipas and the southern border thousands of dollars,” Flores explained.
Flores, who came the United States when she was six years old, also noted the Hispanic community is not supportive of this measure, which would grant voting privileges to immigrants with a green card or work authorization.
“They believe that only American citizens should be able to vote even at the local level,” Flores stated. “Here in South Texas, my district is 91 percent Hispanic, and the people that I spoke with yesterday disagreed. They said only American citizens should be able to vote even at the local level.”
Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams votes for himself as the next New York City mayor on Nov. 2, 2021, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Incoming mayor Eric Adams has voiced his support for the measure, despite his predecessor Mayor Bill de Blasio questioning the legality of legislation and the precedent it sets for citizenship.
“As a legal immigrant myself that became an American citizen… I just believe that being an American citizen is a privilege [and] is a blessing that only Americans should be able to vote in this country,” Flores stated in response.
“In Mexico, where I’m from, you have to have a voter ID and you must be a citizen of Mexico to vote,” Flores continued.
“This is a horrible idea and it sends the wrong message…. We want to encourage people to become American citizens, and these people will not see the value of it if we’re allowing… them to vote.”
If passed, the measure would allow those eligible to participate in municipal elections for those living in the Big Apple for at least 30 days before the election.
The city council is expected to vote on the legislation in December.