Can an immigrant who resides legally in the U.S. on a work visa but who
voted illegally in a presidential election year still become a naturalized U.S.
Yes, actually. Especially if the Department of Homeland Security
sends a letter instructing him to request removal from the voter rolls.
That happened this summer in Putnam County, Tenn., where County Administrator of Elections Debbie Steidl says an immigrant who illegally registered to vote – and
then voted – in 2004 is now seeking to become a U.S. citizen.
Steidl says the man gave her a form letter from the DHS instructing him to:
"Submit … evidence that you have been removed from the roll of registered voters. This can be accomplished by contacting your local election commission where you
registered and voted. Submit a letter of explanation of why you registered to
vote, and where you registered to vote, when you discovered that you were not a
United States Citizen."
She told FoxNews.com that, were the immigrant to be removed from the voter
roll, as the DHS suggested, all traces of his illegal voting record would
normally be shredded within two years.
"I went to my election commission and I said: ‘this frightens me for my country,'" she said. "They agreed with me. Why would you let someone who committed voter fraud become a citizen? That's what they're doing." But immigration advocates say voting illegally can be an honest mistake, and the DHS is correct not to turn down immigrants who apply for citizenship solely because of it.
"I think a lot of people are truly very unaware about not being eligible to vote, and some election officials are maybe not clear enough on what's required," said Natalie Sullivan, director of the Immigration Advocates Network. "So immigration has a process in place to consider what the circumstances were, and decide on a case-by-case basis."
Sullivan said that, even if the records were shredded, the immigrant’s apparent admission to DHS could still provide evidence. "If he has already admitted on the naturalization application that he previously voted, that is also a form of evidence… DHS is ultimately going to make the decision about what has allegedly occurred," she said.
The DHS did not respond to calls for comment. "Good moral character" is a requirement to obtain citizenship, and a memo issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 2002 says immigration officers have discretion about whether to allow someone to become a citizen after admitting to voting illegally.
"Officers must balance the facts regarding the applicant’s unlawful voting or false representation as a U.S. citizen against other factors such as family ties and background," the memo reads.
As a matter of course, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) failed to refer this case to the U.S. Attorney's Office for criminal prosection and failed to follow the law by denying the citizenship application and placing the alien in removal proceedings.
Instead, USCIS advised the alien to ask the Registrar to remove his name from the voter roles. Why USCIS did this cannot be determined, as removal from the voter rolls has nothing to do with the only exception to the relevant laws prohibiting aliens from voting; to wit the alien was the child of U.S. citizens and resided in the U.S.:
The CCA establishes exceptions to removal under sections 212(a) and 237(a), to
GMC under 101(f) of the INA, and to criminal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 611
and 1015(f), for any alien:
· whose natural or adoptive parents (both parents) are or were U.S. citizens
· who permanently resided in the U.S. prior to his or her 16th birthday, and
· who “reasonably believed” at the time of the violation or false representation that he or she was a US citizen.
Of course, even though the law has a single well defined exception, USCIS has determined that it can ignore violations that do not meet the legal standard for a waiver in violation of the Congressional mandate:
1. Determine if the applicant:
(a) actually voted in violation of the relevant election law; or
(b) made a false claim to U.S. citizenship when registering to vote or voting in any
Federal, State, or local election any time on or after September 30, 1996;
2. If either “a” or “b” above happened,
the applicant is removable. Now determine whether the applicant is eligible
for the exceptions from removal as provided under sections
212(a) and 237(a) of the INA. If the applicant is eligible for the exceptions, the applicant is no longer removable. Proceed with adjudication of the N-400 (see Step 6).
3. If the applicant does not qualify for one of the exceptions, determine whether
the applicant’s case merits the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
4. If the applicant’s case does not merit the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, initiate removal proceedings and continue the naturalization application, pending the outcome of such proceedings.
5. If the applicant’s case merits prosecutorial discretion, proceed with adjudication of the N-400 (see Step 6).
Nowhere in the law does USCIS have the "discretion" to ignore the law. It is an authority that USCIS has granted itself for the purpose of thwarting the expressed will of Congress and relevant legislation, all to serve the interests of aliens. This is just another aspect of the Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty, naturalizing aliens who should have been arrested, charged, convicted, and deported.