What Civic Rights do Green-Card Holders have?

2018-04-20 18:19:12

I know that Permanent Residents of the US are "generally not allowed to vote" or hold public office but I haven't been able to find more detailed information about their civic rights on the USCIS website. My question can be broken down into several specific ones:

Are there any situations in which permanent residents ARE allowed to vote (local elections, ballot initiatives, primary elections, etc)?

Are permanent residents allowed to join political parties?

Are permanent residents allowed to participate in political campaigns as donors/volunteers/paid staffers?

Essentially, everything but voting (or holding office) in Federal elections is allowed.

Quote from the FEC:

Individuals: The "green card" exception

The Act does not prohibit individuals with permanent resident status (commonly referred to as “green card holders”) from making contributions or donations in connection with federal, state or local elections, as they are not considered foreign nation

  • Essentially, everything but voting (or holding office) in Federal elections is allowed.

    Quote from the FEC:

    Individuals: The "green card" exception

    The Act does not prohibit individuals with permanent resident status (commonly referred to as “green card holders”) from making contributions or donations in connection with federal, state or local elections, as they are not considered foreign nationals.

    Local political activity is more up to the localities. At some level, a state has as much power to create its own laws as a condominium board has a right to creates its bylaws (as long as these state laws don't clash with Federal laws, of course).

    2018-04-20 19:13:40
  • Resident foreigners can vote in some town elections in Maryland. There may be some other types of local elections, such as for school boards, which are based on factors like having a child at the school rather than citizenship. wikipedia

    Political parties work differently in the USA. You don't really "join", you "register as a supporter". But the only benefit of this is you can vote in primaries. But non-citizens may not register to vote (not even in primaries). See Do the Democratic/Republican parties have any control over their membership and primary voters

    Green card holders are considered as "non-foreign" for the purpose of political donations. election law analysis

    2018-04-20 19:23:57