The federal agency which “oversees lawful immigration to the United States,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not track and retain the answers by legal noncitizen residents whether they have illegally voted or registered to vote. Furthermore, if they vote illegally or are even convicted of illegally voting, this does not necessarily disqualify them from becoming a citizen.
Using all caps and bold font to emphasize the importance of the word “ever,” USCIS form N-400 (Part 12) asks persons applying for naturalization:
- Have you EVER claimed to be a U.S. citizen (in writing or any other way)?
- Have you EVER registered to vote in any Federal, state, or local election in the United States?
- Have you EVER voted in any Federal, state, or local election in the United States?
When noncitizens fill out these forms, they do so under penalty of perjury.
Freedom of Information Act requests by both the Washington Times and the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) revealed there is no database to gather and track this information.
The Washington Times reported the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would have to review every application manually to get this information. One million of these applications were filed in 2016. It also reported that the Pence Commission intends to compare noncitizen permanent resident files with public voter rosters. President Trump signed an executive order in May creating the commission on election fraud. It is led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, as reported by Breitbart News and Breitbart News Daily.
Other problems revealed in the Washington Times report included USCIS policy discourages officials from disqualifying a naturalization applicant who was convicted of illegally voting if he or she has only one offense. Moreover, USCIS does not have a system or policy for notifying prosecutors about applicants who admit to illegal voting.
Applicants who deny illegal voting are also not verified by checking public voter rosters.
The Washington Times article reported an immigration services spokeswoman said that the USCIS does not have a policy, “official or otherwise, that discourages officers from denying naturalization applicants if they have voted unlawfully.”
The spokeswoman noted that although USCIS “does not have a mechanism in place to cross-check voter registration” the Pence Commission intends to work to fill-in for this gap.
“There’s no question that the Obama DHS looked past noncitizens participating in the electoral system before obtaining citizenship,” a PILF spokesman shared with Breitbart Texas in a statement. “Discerning the scope of this problem is another ideal area of study for the forthcoming presidential commission on election integrity.”
President Trump signed the EO on May 11 establishing a “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.” The mission of the commission set-out in the EO is:
Sec. 3. Mission. The Commission shall, consistent with applicable law, study the registration and voting processes used in Federal elections. The Commission shall be solely advisory and shall submit a report to the President that identifies the following:
(a) those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that enhance the American people’s confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections;
(b) those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections; and
(c) those vulnerabilities in voting systems and practices used for Federal elections that could lead to improper voter registrations and improper voting, including fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting.
Vice-chairman Kobach told Breitbart News in an interview on May 11 that the bi-partisan commission can use federal data to help resolve the dispute about large-scale fraudulent voting. “The issue of voting fraud often gets politicized, and people are making statements with few foundations [of fact, so] this commission will provide a firm foundation [of] information and facts that are verifiable about the issues surrounding voter fraud.”
Kobach added, “The states are in the drivers’ seat, but this commission can offer recommendations and evidence” for state legislators. Kolbach recognized that many state elections are decided by less than 50 votes.
Kobach has also noted that the Obama Administration refused to check aliens on legal visas against voter rolls to determine ineligible voters. He said:
The federal government has consistently said no, under the Obama administration. Well, this commission will have the authority to maybe look at a couple of states and say, “okay, let’s check how many people who are registered voters in those states are also known aliens, non-citizens according to the federal government.” That’s going to be exciting, something never done before, and it will give us some sense of what the real numbers are of this problem.
Breitbart Texas reported that a Texas jury convicted a Mexican national of illegal voting in February. She was sentenced to eight years in prison. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Tarrant County officials put Rosa Maria Ortega to trial for voting in two Texas elections.