Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday that he does not intend to veto a noncitizen voting bill, which is expected to come up for a vote in the City Council before the end of the year.
The legislation would allow lawful permanent residents or persons authorized to work in the U.S. who have lived in New York City for at least 30 consecutive days to vote in municipal elections.
This would include elections for mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough president, city council and any city ballot initiative.
At a news conference on Tuesday, he said that he was only recently made aware of the decision to bring the bill up for a vote before the end of the year.
“This is something the council has decided to do,” he said. “It’s a democracy — certainly not something I’d be intending to veto, but it's also not something I’m sure is the right way to go about this.”
The mayor has voiced his opposition to the bill in the past, and doubled down on that criticism on Tuesday, questioning the legal jurisdiction of the city government to make this type of change. He also said he was concerned it could deter people from going through the citizenship process.
While de Blasio said he understands the desire for people to want to get more engaged in the political process, he also emphasized the range of resources made available for noncitizens, including NYC Care, the city's health care program, and ID NYC.
“We’ve tried in so many ways to reach them and support them,” he said. “Everything we’re doing—guaranteed health care, NYC Care, was built for many reasons including getting health care to undocumented folks who are part of our community. Our food initiative during COVID went to everyone. Everything we do with education goes to everyone. ID NYC went to everyone and we’ve been very intentional about embracing and supporting everyone.”