Only 35 registered after San Francisco opened local vote to noncitizens: report

Only 35 registered after San Francisco opened local vote to noncitizens: report
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After San Francisco made the decision to allow noncitizens to vote in a local race, only 35 had signed up to vote as of the Monday registration deadline, according to the Associated Press.

In a move only a few other cities have made, San Francisco opened up voting for a school board race to people who are not U.S. citizens, according to the news agency.

In order to participate, the noncitizens must be parents or guardians of a child in the schools.

They also must give their address and date of birth to register for the race. 

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The executive director of the Chinese American Voters Education Committee, David Lee, told the news agency that they have not registered a single noncitizen, likely because people fear their information will reach federal authorities.

"People are really fearful because the Trump administration is perceived to be very anti-immigrant,” Lee said. “There is legitimate concern that their information may be turned over to the federal government and that they may end up being detained or deported.”

"We’re in an unprecedented arena of animosity toward our immigrant community, and that has really stopped people from voting," said San Francisco Supervisor Sandrea Fewer, a former member of the school board who supports the measure, according to the AP.

Some have pushed back against the measure as devaluing citizenship.

"Voting is a sacred privilege and a sacred right of citizens. It should not be trivialized for political gain," said San Francisco attorney and committeewoman for the National Republican Committee, Harmeet Dhillon.

Dhillon told the news agency that she was not surprised many noncitizens hadn't registered, as doing so could put their future U.S. citizenship at risk.

“By voting people are taking a big legal risk, and for what return?” Dhillon said.