A small Maryland city drew national attention this week for allowing non-citizens including illegal immigrants to cast ballots in local elections – but it’s just the latest municipality to do so, in a trend that has some worried the changing definition of ‘voter’ could erode what it means to be a citizen.
“It’s a slippery slope,” said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
College Park, which approved the policy Tuesday, became the 11th municipality in Maryland alone to allow non-citizens to vote in local races.
Supporters cast the change as an important step.
“To me, expanding access to the right to vote in our city is something that expands our community voice, not something that contracts it,” Mayor Patrick Wojahn said, according to the Washington Post.
College Park Councilmember Fazlul Kabir tried to rein in the measure. He said he introduced two amendments—one, to delay the vote to give the council more time to speak with constituents, and another to only allow green-card holders to participate in local elections. Both amendments were struck down.
Kabir said he did not vote at all.
“My problem was about the procedure. I think we went too fast, and didn’t give our residents a chance to speak—that was my frustration,” Kabir told Fox News on Friday. “It is a very heavy subject and we have to be very careful.”
Kabir told Fox News that he sees both “good things” and “risk” in allowing non-citizens to vote.
“The good thing is that it gives more residents the chance to make elected people…