Non Citizenship Voting in the US

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Each State in the US is legally allowed to bar non-citizens from voting in any national or state elections. Signed by President Clinton, The Illegal immigration reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 makes it a crime when any non-citizen individual votes in any given federal election. According to Stanley Renshon’ article, in the United States of America, the linkbetween voting and citizenship is an increasingly established doctrine in the political culture to the extent that it is among the only main national civic test availed to the students.

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Indeed, votingby non-citizens is an exercise of civil rights, but is it really worth it?

To begin with, it is prudent to note that voting is an essential marker of full community membership in any given democratic republic. Allowing immigrants to vote goes against such a notion. Renshon also stated that Non-citizens are individuals who hold citizenship rights in another country hence do not have their allegiance to the United States. There is the need to ensure that the non-citizens go through the naturalization process and gain citizenship before being given the right to vote. Consequently, embracing the assumption that voting is the quintessential right of citizenship and is exclusively reserved for citizens.

Secondly, Renshon provided example that it is essential to embrace the argument of Mayor Bloomberg who was of the perception that voting is “”the essence of citizenship”” and going aheadto extend the increasingly prudent benefits of citizenship to individuals who still hold their primary allegiance to another nation is frequently counterproductive. In such an argument, non-citizens have to go through a deliberative process of absorbing them into the society, getting theirallegiance and hence commitment to the process of nation-building. As it pertains the manner in which this act impacts the non-citizens, such as the Latinos; there are a variety of implications. First and foremost, Latinos shoulder a range of responsibilities like other citizens and this include paying taxes and conforming to the established rule of law. Voting is one-way people use to make decisions on the manner in which they are governed and who governs them. Consequently, they are entirely rendered to be passive members of society.

As Alexia Fern??ndez Cambell claims, according to selected data from the IRS, beginning from 2015; it was shown that the agency got 4.4 million income tax returns from workers who lacked social security Numbers; this was inclusive of a significant number of undocumented immigrants. Annually, it was shown that they paid an astounding 23.6 billion in income taxes. Consequently, barring them from voting is an effort of demotivating the non-citizens”

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Non Citizenship Voting in the US. (2019, Sep 21). Retrieved from