Andrew Yang, former Democrat presidential candidate and current New York City mayoral candidate, said that non-citizens should have the right to vote while outlining his vision during a “reforming democracy” press conference this week.
Yang spoke alongside Democrat City Council Member Carlos Menchaca at the event. He outlined his vision to expand voting, which includes lowering the voting age to 16.
“Now how can we continue to invest in our democracy to make it better here in New York City. I think we should enable young people to vote starting at age 16,” he said, adding that young people “don’t feel like their voices are being heard.”
Yang also suggested expanding the right to vote to non-citizens.
“The second thing we should do is expand the franchise to non-citizens, lawful permanent residents,” Yang said, describing New York City as a “city of immigrants.”
And immigrants from the core of so many of our neighborhoods and communities. There are approximately 6,220,000 lawful permanent residents, you probably think of them as green card holders, who are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. Their kids go to our schools. They supply many of the jobs that we rely upon. They should have a say in the future of their city. too.
“We can enable green card holders, lawful permanent residents, to be able to vote,” Yang said. He also praised Menchaca and City Council member Margaret Chin (D) for putting forward the “Our City, Our Vote” bill that “would enable this to happen.”
“We should enable lawful permanent residents to vote. This is their city, too. So young people, non-citizens, we have to invest in the mechanics of our democracy at a higher level,” he added.
Yang entered the spotlight during the Democrat primary race after making a Universal Basic Income (UBI) central to his campaign. However, at the time, his plan only applied to American citizens.
“It goes to citizens,” Yang said at the time. “So it would not go to undocumented immigrants.”
Yang received criticism from far-left Democrats last week after tweeting support for Israel during Palestinian rocket attacks. Some leftists even called him a “white supremacist.”
“I’m standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists,” Yang said at the time. “The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere.”