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California City Considers Granting Illegal Immigrants the Right to Vote

The Santa Ana City Council is once again considering a measure that would allow noncitizens to vote in municipal elections.

During public comment at Tuesday night’s Santa Ana city council meeting, impassioned remarks took center stage over the proposed idea.

Proponents argue that the city’s large noncitizen community, including those who are in the country illegally, should have a say in local affairs since they often pay taxes and contribute to the economy.

“I do believe that noncitizen voting in local elections is about increasing civic engagement,” Councilmember Jonathan Hernandez told KTLA. “Taxation without representation is a value that America holds dear. So we want to advance those rights. I believe that non-citizen voting is a step in the right direction.”

In a city where nearly one-fourth of its residents are not U.S. citizens but who often work and pay taxes, Hernandez argues they should. Santa Ana has been a sanctuary city for undocumented residents since 2016.


Some who attended the meeting criticized those who were against the measure.

“I love when we have extreme right-wing folks show up to tell you what you shouldn’t do because throughout history we have always had those folks denying the right to vote to many people of color,” said Carlos Perea, a Santa Ana resident.