Ex-Trump Adviser Blasts NYT Guest Essay for Calls to 'Ultimately Erase the Idea' of US Citizenship
01:54 GMT 01.08.2021 (Updated: 06:47 GMT 01.08.2021)
© REUTERS / NATHAN LAYNEA sign urging people to vote is seen on the porch of the Democratic Party's Fulton County headquarters on Election Day in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania November 3, 2020. Picture taken November 3, 2020.
© REUTERS / NATHAN LAYNE
In a so-called "guest essay" for The New York Times published on Wednesday, journalist Atossa Araxia Abrahamian expressed her belief that, per her headline, "there is no good reason you should have to be a citizen to vote" in the United States.
A former adviser to ex-US President Donald Trump, Stephen Miller, speaking to Fox News, took some verbal shots at a guest essay published in the NYT claiming that non-citizens should be allowed to vote in the US, saying the piece undermines the entire concept of American citizenship.
"The New York Times opinion piece is extraordinarily revealing for the mindset of the Left— which is they want to erode and ultimately erase the very idea of American citizenship", Miller said on Fox News. "Voting is not just a right. It's also a responsibility. You have to learn our country's history, its culture, its language, its values to be able to make an informed decision about voting".
He noted that this was the reason there is a naturalisation process in the United States, "a lawful process to go through to learn who we are and what we're about".
"Americans are Americans. Citizens are citizens and dreamers, so-called, are illegal immigrants, and when we deprive people of this country of their language —of their ability to be able to speak clearly—and to say: No, if you come here illegally you are not a citizen. You are not an American. You don't have the right to vote in our elections. You do not have the right to occupy American jobs. These are not controversial thoughts. These are basic fundamental ideas to what it means to have and to keep a nation", Miller continued.
© AP Photo / Ben GrayA voter drops their ballot off during early voting, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Athens, Ga. With record turnout expected for this year's presidential election and fears about exposure to the coronavirus, election officials and advocacy groups have been encouraging people to vote early, either in person or by absentee ballot. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
A voter drops their ballot off during early voting, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Athens, Ga. With record turnout expected for this year's presidential election and fears about exposure to the coronavirus, election officials and advocacy groups have been encouraging people to vote early, either in person or by absentee ballot. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
© AP Photo / Ben Gray
In her guest essay, Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, who is a citizen of Switzerland, Canada, and Iran, argues that among those allowed to vote alongside US citizens should be green card holders, non-immigrant visa holders, and permanent residents. According to the journalist, "it's often much harder to get a visa or green card than to then become a naturalised citizen", and the citizenship test feels "comparatively like a piece of cake".
She also calls for vote allowance for the so-called "dreamers", or people who illegally came to the United States as children and are still waiting for their papers.
Abrahamian noted that it will be Democrats who would benefit from allowing non-citizens to vote, since immigrants, both legal and illegal, tend to vote blue. Republicans should not give up on the potential electorate, she added.
"Democrats are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of this change — at least at first. But it could have interesting ripple effects: Elected Republicans might be induced to appeal to a more diverse constituency or perhaps to enthuse their constituents so deeply that they, too, start to vote in greater numbers", Abrahamian wrote in her essay.
The squabble comes as the United States faces a significant increase in migrant numbers on its southern border, dubbed by some a "crisis", as the Biden administration swiftly moved to undo harsh border policies decreed by the adminstration of former US President Donald Trump.
The issue of voting is a source of dispute in the US currently, as the two primary political parties clash on their view of election reform, with Democrats pushing for broadening voting rights and enhancing early- and mail-in voting, while the GOP is seeking the imposition of stricter rules and ID requirements for casting ballots, claiming that it is necessary to protect election integrity.