San Francisco has started registering undocumented immigrants and other non-citizens to vote in the city’s school board elections, according to reports.
The move has also been approved in Chicago and several other cities in Maryland and Massachusetts.
“We want to give immigrants the right to vote,” San Francisco supervisor Norman Yee told KGO.
The decision was the result of a 2016 ballot measure handed down by local voters — which opened school elections to city residents over the age of 18 who aren’t US citizens, so long as they have children in school system.
“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,” said Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer of District 1.
“This is no-brainer legislation,” supervisor Hillary Ronen told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Why would we not want our parents invested in the education of their children?”
Republican leaders, however, blasted the idea.
“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 Harmeet Dhillon, who serves on the Republican National Committee.
The measure allowing non-citizen voting went into effect on Monday. It reportedly expires in 2022, but could be renewed by the board of supervisors. Some believe it will be used to target people coming into the country illegally