I’m an immigrant or refugee – Can I vote?

By Immigration Legal Services at Journey’s End

This is a question many Buffalo residents may ask themselves as we approach the upcoming mayoral election. Only U.S. Citizens have the right to vote in federal, state, and local elections. If you are a U.S. Citizen and came to the United States as an immigrant or a refugee – you have the right to vote. However, if you entered the United States as an immigrant or refugee and are not yet a U.S. Citizen – you are not eligible to vote.

If you are not a U.S. Citizen and you vote, there may be very serious consequences: a conviction of unlawful voting can result in imprisonment for up to one year and in some instances may result in removal from the United States.

The right to vote is an important one for U.S. Citizens, especially for immigrants and refugees that have worked so hard to earn that right. If you are not a U.S. Citizen it is very important that you do not vote or register to vote until you become a U.S. Citizen. If you are eligible for U.S. Citizenship and have not applied yet, consider talking to an attorney about applying today!

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