Less than a month after voting to ask the legislature to expand municipal voting rights to 16- and 17-year olds, the Boston City Council Monday braced for potentially extending voting rights to yet-to-be-determined categories of immigrants with a hearing, setting up a political debate that will reverberate beyond Boston for the coming new year.

The question of non-citizen voting is being teed up as cities and states across the country grapple with growing populations of immigrants who live, work and contribute to the local economies and neighborhoods but lack a direct voice in municipal politics. It echoes the recently-settled state-wide question of whether immigrants without legal status should be allowed to obtain drivers licenses. Opponents in both cases argue extending rights to those without citizenship would complicate and undermine the integrity of government processes.

Councilor Kendra Lara, who represents Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury, said she will attempt to clear a path for immigrant voting, though she is still strategizing about the appropriate legal mechanism.

“It’s definitely going to come in 2023,” she told GBH News, “whether it be with a home rule petition, a charter referendum or an ordinance.”

How the city would define “immigrants with legal status,” Lara said, remains an open question to be solved once a proposal is put forward. A notification for Monday’s hearing on the issue defined the term with several specific categories of non-citizens including “lawful permanent residents,” also known as green card holders, “visa holders, Temporary Protected Status recipients, and Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals recipients.”

Lara, a first-generation immigrant born into a family with mixed immigration status, said petitioning the lawmakers for local powers has become difficult, even as Democrats are poised to command both the legislature and the governor’s seat.

“My story is not unique,” she said, adding that the next step will be to gauge Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s stance on the issue.

At Monday’s hearing, officials from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion spoke in support of the measure, signaling Wu’s support via proxy.

“Immigrants are a vital part of Boston and Mayor Wu and our administration are committed to making sure they are part of democracy and have equitable access to what Boston has to offer,” said Monique Nguyen, director of the immigrant advancement office.

“To have no formal voice in the political process of the place where you live, work, dream and suffer is to be a subject in servitude,” said Elijah Miller, policy director in the economic opportunity and inclusion office.

Officials estimated as many as 68,000 immigrants in Boston would gain suffrage if a measure widely defining “immigrants with legal status” were to clear a path for them.

According to snapshot demographic data compiled by the Boston Planning and Development Agency, immigrants comprise nearly a third of the city’s population. Spanish is the language most commonly spoken in Boston homes other than English, followed by French, or Haitian Creole, Chinese and Vietnamese.