House GOP Hardliners Push Sessions To Ramp Up Non-Citizen Voting Prosecutions

on April 25, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America

About two dozen conservative members of Congress wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday urging him to “dedicate all resources reasonable and necessary” to investigate and prosecute voter fraud and “other illegality.”

Their letter zeroed in on non-citizen voter registration and raised concerns about so-called “sanctuary” cities, which the House Republicans said were “ripe for widespread participation by noncitizens in our elections.”

Voter fraud is extremely rare, numerous studies have shown. Having mostly won battles to expand voter ID laws, supporters of election restrictions have turned their focus to the registration rolls and specifically to claims that they are teeming with non-citizens. Those advocates have struggled to prove claims of mass non-citizen voting in court, and when non-citizens are found to be registered, they often made it to the rolls unknowingly and by administrative mistake.

In enflaming fears about noncitizen voter registration, conservatives have pushed for voter purges that stand to remove eligible voters from the rolls as well.

The House Republicans’ letters praised the charges recently brought by Richard Higdon, a U.S. attorney in North Carolina, against 19 foreign nationals for illegal voting allegations in the 2016 election. Several of those defendants were unaware they were ineligible to vote, Huffington Post reported, while noting that some defendants required translators at the court hearings, also suggesting confusion about their ineligibility to vote.

“The work by Mr. Higdon should be admired and duplicated across the nation;” the House Republicans said, “even just one illegal vote by a noncitizen violates the rights and privileges of each lawful American voter.”

Read the letter below:

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