by Mary Lou Masters
Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy introduced a bill Friday cracking down on illegal immigrants’ and noncitizens’ ability to vote in federal elections.
The Protecting American Voters Act, co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Matt Rosendale of Montana, Pete Sessions of Texas and Michael Burgess of Texas, would equip state officials with the information needed to verify citizenship upon voter registration, according to the bill obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The bill also requires federal agencies to provide information upon the states’ request, free of fees, from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ SAVE system that confirms who is a naturalized citizen.
The legislation also enables states to check the citizenship status of those already registered to vote, allowing officials to amend current registration rolls by removing those who aren’t citizens.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is required to provide states information about registrants’ citizenship status when asked, the bill reads. The Social Security Administration (SSA) must provide information to inquiring states about citizens who were born in the U.S.
Previously, the DHS had the ability to provide such information, but only at their discretion, and the SSA was not permitted to give details for matters of election integrity, according to a press release provided with the bill.
Noncitizens are banned from voting in federal elections, but some slip through the cracks. A Georgia election audit of the state’s registration rolls from 2022 indicates that 1,634 noncitizens registered to vote.
Roy previously introduced H.R. 29, the Border Safety and Security Act, to crack down on illegal immigration, requiring the DHS turn away asylum-seekers or detain them until adjudicated. The congressman wrote a letter in February to his fellow GOP members, asking them to consider and back his legislation.
The Biden administration has seen a surge in illegal immigration. In fiscal year 2022, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered over 2.3 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and more than 1 million from October 2022 to February 2023.
The Trump-era Title 42, implemented to expel illegal migrants, will expire on May 11, leaving many wondering how the U.S. will cope with an expected influx of migrants. The House GOP introduced legislation Tuesday to address the concerns, calling for construction of a border wall, additional border personnel and asylum reform.
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