With national elections coming in 2014, there will be a significant push to register new voters in the coming months. The Cook County Clerk’s Office recently announced expanded voter registration in Illinois, the new criteria will allow US citizens to register online and offer opportunities for 17 year olds who will be eligible to vote in the upcoming election. Although completing the registration form requires only a State ID or drivers license, for a non-US citizen (a legal permanent resident or undocumented resident), including DACA recipients, completing this form could have major implications for a person’s immigration status.
For a non-citizen completing a voter registration form is a false claim to US citizenship. Making a false claim to US citizenship is a deportable offence. This false claim happens as soon as the voter registration form is signed. After 1996, there is no waiver that removes the false claim even if that claim was unintentional. It does not matter whether or not that person actually votes nor does it matter if that person deregisters to vote.
Legal permanent residents, DACA recipients, and now with the new temporary visitors drivers licenses in the state of Illinois, an expanded number of non-US citizens are qualified to obtain a drivers license but as non-US citizens they are still not eligible to register to vote. Making a false claim of US citizenship is not only a deportable offence, it bars a person from ever becoming a legal permanent resident or US citizen.
We at Latinos Progresando are very disappointed in the Supreme Court's split decision leaving in place...
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