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August 24, 2012

Illegal Immigrants, Illegal Votes

By

Liberals who frequently claim that there is no such thing as voter fraud or ballots cast by ineligible voters were served yet another dose of reality by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals this week. On August 22, the court released two decisions concerning noncitizens who registered and voted illegally in federal elections.

In Kimani v. Holder, the court refused to grant review of an immigration petition. Kimani was a citizen of Kenya who entered the U.S. in 2000 on a visitor’s visa. He did not leave when the visa expired. Instead, three years later, he got married, and his wife applied for a visa on his behalf. In addition to the fact that he stayed in the U.S. illegally after his visa had expired, he also violated federal law by registering and voting in the 2004 general election. If he had simply continued to reside in the U.S. illegally without applying for a visa, his voting would probably have never been discovered by DHS. It was only his application that led to an investigation of his voting and registration records.

Similarly, in Keathley v. Holder, Elizabeth Keathley, a Philippine citizen, married an American in 2003 in the Philippines. She received a nonimmigrant visa that allowed her to live in the U.S. while waiting for her application for permanent residence to be considered. But she also registered and voted in the 2006 general election. The Court did grant her a review based on her unsupported claim that an Illinois DMV official told her it was ok to register and vote.

Voting in a federal election by an alien is a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 611 and makes the alien “inadmissible” under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(10)(D)(i). However, I would be willing to bet a nice dinner at a good steak restaurant in Washington that, given this administration’s attempt to provide a general amnesty for illegal aliens in the country, neither one of these aliens will be sent back to their respective homelands.

— Hans von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow in the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.

First appeared in The National Review.

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