Chinese Immigrant Without U.S. Citizenship Is Sworn In To San Fran’s Election Commission

The flag of the People’s Republic of China flies in the wind in San Francisco, California on July 23, 2020. (Photo by PHILIP PACHECO/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
6:18 PM – Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Despite not being a citizen of the United States, a Chinese immigrant was sworn in to serve on the San Francisco Election Commission, prompting some concerns regarding national security as one U.S. senator had previously cautioned that Chinese President Xi Jinping is playing the “long game.”


On February 14th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously selected Kelly Wong, an immigrant rights activist who arrived in the U.S. from Hong Kong in 2019 to pursue doctoral studies.

After a ballot initiative to remove the citizenship barrier to serve on San Francisco boards was adopted by California voters in 2020, she is thought to be the first non-citizen to hold a commission position.

“There are always voices inside my head, like ‘You can’t do it. You’re not competent. You’re an immigrant. This is not your country,’” Wong said.

“If I can do it, you can do it,” she added.

Wong, who is not allowed to vote, is one of seven individuals in her new role who will supervise and carry out the Department of Elections’ policies.

She will be in charge of voter registration, mail-in ballots, polling areas, and election monitoring.

“This appointment is a milestone for all immigrant and marginalized communities throughout San Francisco,” Wong wrote on her now-deleted LinkedIn profile, according to the Epoch Times.

“Representation matters: thousands of immigrants living in the city hold stakes in politics, and there is no better way to have us be represented than to serve in leadership positions.”

“I am deeply committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of immigration status, has a seat at the table in shaping the future of our city,” she added.

Wong expressed her desire to see a rise in the number of immigrants and non-English speaking voters show up on election day.

“Even though I’m fluent in English, I still encounter challenges in navigating a new system, let alone participating in political conversation and activities,” she told KQED.

However, Wong also intends to carry on working for Chinese for Affirmative Action, a non-governmental organization that was established in 1969, as the commissioner role is unpaid.

On its website, it states that its goals are to “promote multiracial democracy in the United States” and defend the “civil and political rights of Chinese Americans.”

Previously, the group was in charge of pressuring the government to amend the legislation so that non-citizens may cast ballots in San Francisco school board elections provided their kids attended a district school.

Meanwhile, Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) expressed concern about what he claims is President Xi Jinping’s “long game” in response to Wong’s appointment to the elections board, citing the 452 Chinese individuals who have been apprehended at the southern border in the last three days alone, according to Customs and Border Protection data.

“Look, they’re flooding our borders with fentanyl, killing Americans,” he said.

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