UNLAWFUL VOTING IS A DEPORTABLE OFFENSE

UNLAWFUL VOTING IS A DEPORTABLE OFFENSE

By Edward Shulman (605 words)
Posted in Immigration Law on July 17, 2017

There are (0) comments.

Only United States Citizens are permitted to vote.  Under the current immigration laws, non-U.S. citizens (lawful permanent residents/green card holders, undocumented immigrants, asylees, and refugees) are not eligible to vote in any federal, state, or local elections.  In fact, it is actually a federal crime to do so and there are extraordinarily harsh consequences for unauthorized voting.  According to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA): "any alien who has voted in violation of any Federal, State, or local constitutional provision, statute, ordinance, or regulation is deportable." The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) confirmed this in a precedent decision finding that a noncitizen is removable under INA § 237(a)(6)(A), regardless of whether the alien knew that he or she was unlawfully voting in violation of 18 USC § 611(a).  Matter of Fitzpatrick, 26 I&N Dec. 559 (BIA 2015).  Sadly, there are very few options of relief for people in this situation, even if the intending immigrant has decades of legal presence in the United States, no criminal record, and extensive family ties. 

Given the seriousness of unlawful voting and its potential result in deportation, any non-U.S. citizen should thoroughly review and discuss their history and background with an immigration attorney, especially before any type of immigration application is submitted to USCIS.  Sometimes intending immigrants choose to complete their immigration applications on their own in order to save money.  Regrettably, this can result in errors that may place immigrants at risk, with potentially harsh penalties.  In addition, there are occasions where green card holders are in situations where they are asked or encouraged to register to vote by election officials or governmental entities who are unaware of immigration laws.  Inappropriate voter registration may occur in multiple settings, including at the DMV during the issuance of a driver's license.  Oft-times, the non-U.S. citizen may be "accidentally" lured into registering to vote, or voting, because of “Motor-Voter”, the federal law that directs some states to incorporate a voter registration option when accepting applications for driver’s licenses and State Identifications. Invariably, the accidental voter or registrant is led into the voter registration process by the blind robotics of the motor voter protocol. 

Critically, part of the process of registering to vote is signing a form that confirms the fact that the registrant is, in fact, a U.S. Citizen.  Despite potential misinformation, ignorance is not considered an excuse and even if the individual is led to believe that they are eligible to register, it is up to the immigrant to be educated about the fact that they are disallowed the voting and registering privilege until they become a United States Citizen. Claiming to be a U.S. Citizen will make a person fall into a category of "ground of inadmissibility" that is unwaivable.

At the Shulman Law Group, LLC, we have seen multiple variations on the theme of the “accidental” voter or voter registrant and have successfully steered these clients in the right direction towards a positive outcome. While applicants applying to become United States Citizens who admit to voting or registering to vote certainly risk being denied U.S. citizenship and subjected to potential deportation/removal, there is a modicum of hope.  The interviewing officer has the power to exercise discretion, excuse the violations, and still approve the case. This is why hiring a skilled immigration attorney will be critically important in helping to advocate for and paint a compellingly sympathetic case before the immigration officer or Judge.

Comments (0)

no comments posted

Leave a comment

* denotes required field
* Email will not be published
* Used to help prevent spam

Text only, html will be removed from comment

To make the long story short - I wouldn't be here now writing this review if it wasn't for him. He fought with me and for me as if he was defending himself and not some stranger from a foreign country. I will highly recommend him - if your case has any chance at all he is the one you need.

-Immigration Client

Breaking News

SENATE REPUBLICANS PROPOSE THE "SUCCEED ACT": DACA REPLACEMENT BILL

In response to President Trump's disbanding of the DACA program, two Republican Senators, James Lankford of Oklahoma and Tom Tillis of North Carolina, unveiled a proposed bill this week which is being touted as a "conservative" approach to protecting...

read more

MULTI-STATE DACA LAWSUIT AGAINST TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, along with 15 other Attorneys General from around the country and the District of Columbia formally filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration yesterday due to the termination of the DACA program. ...

read more

TRUMP ENDS DACA: WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Yesterday, the Trump administration formally announced the end to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a program that has protected from deportation an estimated 800,000 young documented immigrations brought to the United States as...

read more
© 2015 The Shulman Law Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Website Design by Hudson