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Eric Adams Defends NYC Legislation Giving Noncitizens the Right to Vote

AP Photo/Brittainy Newman

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) said Sunday that he supports the city's new law that will allow hundreds of thousands of legal noncitizens to vote in local elections despite previously expressing reservations about the legislation.


Asked about his change of heart during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," Adams emphasized that he "did not change my mind" and that he "supported the concept" of the "Our city, our vote" legislation, which became law Sunday.

The mayor said his concerns were over one aspect of the bill in which legal noncitizens had to have lived in the city for at least 30 days.

Adams said that, after discussing the legislation with colleagues and listening to their reasoning for supporting it, he "thought it was more important not to veto the bill or get in the way at all, allow the bill to move forward."

And after pointing out that many New York City residents speak a language other than English, he said that he believes "it is imperative that people who are in a local municipality have the right to decide who is going to govern them and I support the concept of that bill."


Pressed by host Jake Tapper if the law will "make a mockery" of American citizenship, noting the extensive process immigrants had to go through to become U.S. citizens, Adams said he still urges noncitizens to continue the process of becoming an American citizen.

"This is a great opportunity to be a member of this great country," Adams said. "Don’t let anything daunt you or take you away from that mission. This legislation is not going to do that. Keep becoming a citizen of this country."

The first elections noncitizens would be allowed to vote in are the city's 2023 elections.

The new law will only apply to local elections, meaning noncitizens still will not be permitted to vote in state or federal elections.

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