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House GOP faces down Biden veto threat on halting noncitizen voting


The House is poised to vote Wednesday to ensure that only U.S. citizens may vote in federal elections, despite a veto threat from President Joe Biden.

Although it’s already illegal for noncitizens to vote in federal elections, “there is no mechanism to ensure that only those registering or voting are actually citizens,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said Tuesday in a press conference held on Zoom.

The Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act, or SAVE Act, would amend the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, known as the “motor voter law,” to require that states obtain documentary proof of citizenship from someone before he or she may register to vote. The legislation also would require states to remove noncitizens from the voter rolls.

“We know President Biden has welcomed millions and millions of illegals, including sophisticated criminal syndicates and spies, [to] our borders,” Johnson said. “A growing number of localities are blurring the lines between citizens and noncitizens by allowing them currently to vote in local and municipal elections.”

Johnson noted that Virginia last year removed 1,500 registrants from the voter rolls who were noncitizens, and 22% had cast ballots. The states of Massachusetts and Ohio removed noncitizens from voter rolls in recent years. Georgia found that 1,600 noncitizens attempted to vote.

“Many of our elections are decided by very slim margins, very slim margins,” Johnson said on the call with reporters. “Only American citizens should decide American elections.”

The White House announced Monday that Biden “strongly opposes” the House legislation.

“This bill would do nothing to safeguard our elections, but it would make it much harder for all eligible Americans to register to vote and increase the risk that eligible voters are purged from voter rolls,” the White House statement says. “The evidence is clear that the current laws to prevent noncitizen voting are working as intended—it is extraordinarily rare for noncitizens to break the law by voting in federal elections.”

The House measure is sponsored by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, who stressed that the bill won’t prevent any legal voters from casting a vote.

“They want to try to kill it because they don’t believe in it,” Roy said of Democrat opponents. “They don’t believe in American sovereignty. They don’t believe in securing the elections and ensuring that only citizens vote.”

The Texas Republican also sought to address any concerns that his fellow conservatives may have.

“We will be criticized by some, even on the right, for whether or not this is something Congress should even be doing from a federalism standpoint. I understand that,” Roy said. “Understand that this bill fixes a problem where the federal government was the barrier to states’ being able to ensure that only citizens vote.”

Roy also noted that Arizona verifies the citizenship of voters in state and local elections, but not for federal elections, because of existing federal law.

Cleta Mitchell, a senior legal fellow with the Conservative Partnership Institute, emceed the press conference over Zoom. Mitchell referred to recent support for the SAVE Act from entrepreneur Elon Musk, who posted on his social media platform, X, that opponents of the legislation are “traitors.”

The bill also would empower U.S. citizens to bring civil suits against election officials who don’t uphold proof of citizenship requirements for federal elections. It also allows for integrating existing databases at the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration to expedite the requirement for states to remove noncitizens from voter rolls.

More than 10 million illegal immigrants and millions more paroled aliens have entered the country since Biden took office in January 2021. The Biden administration has released at least 4.6 million illegal aliens into the United States in addition to 1.8 million known “gotaways,” according to Roy’s office.

The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project worked with the journalism site Muckraker to report that noncitizens at a North Carolina apartment complex admitted on camera to being registered to vote.

They asked residents of the apartment complex: “Are you a U.S. citizen and are you registered to vote?”

“Of the 40 people interviewed, four affirmatively admitted to both being a noncitizen and being registered to vote,” Mike Howell, executive director of the Oversight Project, said during the press conference.

“That sample size, if it holds at 10%, is a really troubling matter,” Howell said. “Also, we have proven that in New York, a nonprofit was fraudulently providing residency documents to illegal aliens for $10, with residency being obviously one of the conditions to vote in New York.”

House Democrats’ leaders oppose the SAVE Act and claim it would impose “an extreme burden [on] countless Americans” who just want to vote, House Minority Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., told caucus members in a memo. Clark added that  “there has been zero evidence of the widespread fraud that this bill purports to target.”

Several states make illegal aliens eligible for driver’s licenses and other benefits, providing ample opportunities to register to vote illegally in federal elections.

In 2017, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortes resigned after the state admitted to registering illegal immigrants for several years.

Heritage Action for America, the grassroots arm of The Heritage Foundation, noted that over 70% of Americans say they oppose proposals to allow noncitizens to vote and over 80% support proof of identity at the ballot box.

The post House GOP Faces Down Biden Veto Threat on Halting Noncitizen Voting appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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