San Francisco will become the largest city in the United States and one of only a handful nationwide to allow noncitizens, including undocumented immigrants, to vote in a local election in November.
They are only allowed to vote in the city school board race, and the fear that their information may reach U.S. officials appears to be stronger than the desire to have a say in their children’s education. Only 35 noncitizens had signed up to vote as of early last week, the registration deadline.
Community groups have been inviting prospective voters to register but also warning them of the risks. The city election department also has warnings on its registration form and on fliers saying voter information would be public and could be seen by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agencies. San Francisco is a “sanctuary city” that otherwise limits cooperation with federal immigration officials.
A version of this article appeared in the October 31, 2018 edition of Education Week as San Francisco Allows Noncitizens To Vote on School Board Races