Immigration and Voting

Published on June 3rd, 2011

One of the most important hallmarks of a true democratic country is the voting process.  Through this process the citizens of a country get to voice their approval or disapproval for the jobs that those who are supposed to represent them are doing. A major component, where political legitimacy is concerned, is whether or not votes are counted and whether or not there are endemic irregularities in the voting process. Campaign finance, has in my judgment corrupted our government and I have written about this on many occasions.  I served our nation as an immigration officer for approximately three decades.  During my career I was not permitted to accept as much as a cup of coffee when I was on official duty. Politicians, however, often boast about how effective they are at raising campaign contributions.  Those contributions are most often spent on ads that run on television and other mass media.  The purpose of those expensive advertisements is to persuade voters to vote for them.  Election Day is, for elected officials, the equivalent of a job evaluation in which the job itself hangs in the balance. Every time there is an election much is made of the percentage of voters who actually vote and those who sit out the election. Under the Constitution of the United States, only citizens of the United States may legally vote.  Now, I know that there have been cases where aliens have voted in elections.  This is not only wrong but is a criminal violation of law. Just about every other country also considers the voting of non-citizens to be a violation of law.  This is not simply a matter of legal technicality but has profound implications for the government in which non-citizens (aliens) vote.  Most other countries, in fact, require that those citizens who show up to vote must provide an official identity document that substantiates the person’s identity and the fact that he (she) is entitled to vote. Generally people who vote will try to figure out which candidate is most likely to do what they believe will be best for them, their families and their city, state or federal government (depending on who they are voting for–or perhaps in this error of the disenfranchised citizen–who they are voting against!) It should be presumed that citizens have a vested interest in voting for candidates that will make our nation and the citizens of their nation their priority.  Of course we know that all too often the priority for the candidates is to appease the deep-pocketed campaign contributors but, at least in theory, this is the goal of most voters. When aliens vote it must be presumed that they will vote for the candidates that would be most advantageous for their home countries and not what is in the best interest of our country.  Yet there are politicians who, in their quest for votes that lead to political power, would be just as eager to have aliens cast ballots provided that they knew that those votes would be cast for their candidacy! Of course few, if any politicians would be sufficiently dumb or brazen to admit that they want aliens to vote for them.  What they often do is figure out strategies that will provide aliens with the opportunity to cast ballots in elections.  Under the aegis of the “Motor voter” law, when a person gets a driver’s license or even a non-motorist ID that is issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles of their home state, they can be automatically enrolled to vote. This is, I believe, one of the major motivations for providing illegal aliens with driver’s licenses, a concept that boggles the mind. Ever since I was a high school student, I was instructed by my teachers as well as my parents, that driving was a “privilege.”  Yet when I was invited to testify before the New York State Senate a few years ago about the issue of giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens I nearly fell out of my seat when I heard the Commission of Motor Vehicles for the State of New York declare that “Driver’s licenses are a necessity!”  The previous motor vehicles commissioner was seated next to me and he reacted the same way I did. The idea of providing a driver’s license to illegal aliens is an example of the sort of lunacy that unfortunately, we have come to expect where our nation’s borders and the issue of immigration are concerned.  The terrorists who attacked our nation managed to conceal their true identities as a part of the embedding process by securing multiple drivers’ licenses in false names.  While our nation does not mandate that its citizens carry official identity documents, the driver’s license has become the de facto national identity document for the United States.  Driver’s licenses or non-motorist identity documents are essential for conducting business, for boarding airliners, for gaining access to office buildings and for employment.  When politicians call for issuing driver’s licenses for illegal aliens they are seeking to provide people whose mere presence in our country represents a violation of law, with a level of credibility to which they are not entitled in a name that may or may not even be their true name!  This represents a threat to national security and a threat to the safety of the communities in which these illegal aliens live. There are two reasons why politicians might want illegal aliens to be issued driver’s licenses.  First of all, I believe it is done in the hope that these aliens might manage to cast ballots at elections even thought such voting would clearly be illegal.  If illegal aliens understand that certain politicians are advocating for them, they will likely vote for such candidates and in many elections, the margin between the winners and the losers is razor thin. There is another component to the issue of how illegal aliens impact the outcome of all federal elections–especially the election for the President of the United States.  Every 10 years the Constitution mandates that a census be conducted to count every man, woman and child living throughout the United States irrespective of their citizenship or immigration status.  The purpose of the census is to determine how electoral votes are apportioned and also leads to the redrawing of Congressional Districts throughout the United States. In 1980 when President Jimmy Carter was in the Oval Office he ordered that INS Special Agents not arrest illegal aliens without authorization from Headquarters.  Back then my colleagues of the INS and I came to the conclusion that this was being done to make certain that the census included as many illegal aliens as possible because major population centers were likely to lean towards the Democratic Party and so if those cities that tended to attract the majority of illegal aliens were likely to vote for Democratic candidates, it would mean that more Congressional seats would be created in those districts giving the Democratic party more leverage in the House of Representatives and also mean that the Democratic candidate for President would garner more electoral votes. This represented a stealth form of gerrymandering!  Even when illegal aliens don’t vote, they can have a serious impact on the outcome of elections and the balance of power in Congress. What is so ironic is that former President Carter has taken part in efforts to make certain that elections in Haiti had integrity, yet it was under his administration that, for the first time, INS agents were ordered to not arrest illegal aliens when the census was being conducted.

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