The Fix Is In: California City Plans to Grant Illegal Immigrants the Right to Vote

By Jim Hᴏft
Sep. 20, 2023 10:00 am

Illegal immigrants crossing in Texas.

The Santa Ana City Council in Orange County, California, is revisiting a contentious proposal: granting noncitizens, including illegal immigrants, the right to vote in municipal elections.

During a recent city council meeting, the topic took center stage, with Councilmember Jonathan Hernandez advocating for the proposal, KTLA reported.

“I do believe that noncitizen voting in local elections is about increasing civic engagement,” 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.”

Santa Ana is the second largest city in Orange County and is located 35 miles south of Los Angeles. According to the Vera Institute of Justice in New York, there are 153,900 immigrants reside in Santa Ana, or 46 percent of the total population. 102,000 non-citizens residing in Santa Ana are potentially at risk of deportation.

Meanwhile, 10.7 million immigrants reside in crime-ridden California, or 27 percent of the total population. 5.3 million non-citizens residing in California are potentially at risk of deportation.

Not everyone agrees with this perspective on allowing illegal aliens the right to vote. Critics argue that allowing noncitizens to vote dilutes the value of American citizenship.

More from KTLA:

“If we start allowing noncitizens to vote, even if they’re here legally, we dilute the value of being an American citizen,” said Monica, a local resident.

“I came here legally as a naturalized citizen,” said an O.C. resident identified only as GD. “I had to wait five years and I took the oath for this country. I swore an allegiance to this country, to the Constitution and to the laws. I believe the citizens should be the ones to have the right and the privilege to vote.”

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.