A Republican lawmaker who represents a district in New York City claims she has found a “smoking gun,” in what she describes as an attempt to register illegal immigrants to vote, although the city disputes her claims.
“The right to vote is a sacred right given only to U.S. citizens, & certainly not to those who crossed our border illegally & came to NYC last month. After we sued, a judge ruled noncitizen voting unconstitutional & @NYCMayor must respect the decision!”
Ms. Malliotakis said in a news conference on Dec. 3 that the contract wasn’t publicly available until now, when it was obtained through a state Freedom of Information Law request. The three-year contract is valued at $28 million and stipulates an agreement with the city and the organization Homes for the Homeless to operate a shelter in Midland Beach, she said.
The contract, she added, stipulates that the nonprofit “shall provide and distribute voter registration forms to all persons.” The forms are available in Chinese and Spanish.
The document also stated that the nonprofit contract “shall not inquire about a client or potential client’s immigration status” unless it’s relevant to the services being rendered.
“On page 50 of this contract, there is an entire section dedicated to voter registration,” the congresswoman stated at the news conference. “We believe this is the smoking gun that proves what we’ve been saying all along—that the city intends to register non-citizens to vote,” she said, referring to the document that was posted to her X account.
It’s unclear if the language for shelter services is standard for the city’s contracts.
In 2021, the New York City Council approved a measure that would allow non-permanent residents and other legal non-residents to qualify to vote in citywide elections. However, that was struck down by a judge in Staten Island last year.
“There is no statutory ability for the City of New York to issue inconsistent laws permitting non-citizens to vote and exceed the authority granted to it by the New York State Constitution,” Staten Island Supreme Court Justice Ralph Porzi wrote in the ruling. The city is currently appealing his decision.
“They are bringing to you voter registration of people who are here illegally, and as soon as they’re here for 30 days, how is it they’re entitled to vote?” state Assemblyman Sam Pirozzolo said in comments to reporters.
“What’s the first thing they’re going to vote for? Better hotel rooms?” he joked. “How do they even understand the American system of government?”
City RespondsA spokesperson for the city’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) denied the lawmaker’s claims on Dec. 4, saying that the voter registration part is required under the city’s law.
“These allegations are false and baseless. DHS is legally required to include language around voter registration in shelter contracts and this guidance applies only to eligible clients who are citizens, and would clearly not apply to asylum seekers in shelter,” the spokeswoman told local media outlets.
The spokesperson then claimed that Ms. Malliotakis is “actively working to spread misinformation” and said her comments are “dangerous misrepresentations of the city’s response to this humanitarian crisis.”
CrisisIn October, New York City filed a request asking a court to allow it to suspend the requirement when there is a state of emergency where the shelter population of single adults increases at a rapid rate. It came as the city’s shelter system strains under a large influx of illegal migrants who have arrived since last year.
“With more than 122,700 asylum-seekers having come through our intake system since the spring of 2022, and projected costs of over $12 billion for three years, it is abundantly clear that the status quo cannot continue,” Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, said in a statement at the time. “New York City cannot continue to do this alone.”
The mayor’s office also has recently limited adult aliens to 30 days in city shelters and 60 days for families with children. Illegal immigrants, most of whom arrive without the legal ability to work, can reapply for housing if they are unable to find a new place to live.