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Tipsheet

Biden Administration Releases Statement on Bill That Seeks to Prevent Noncitizens From Voting

AP Photo/Steve Karnowski

President Biden on Monday made his position clear on legislation that would require proof of citizenship to register to vote in federal elections. 

While the White House statement stopped short of saying it would veto the legislation, the administration said it “strongly opposes” the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act.

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"It is already illegal for noncitizens to vote in Federal elections—it is a Federal crime punishable by prison and fines," the statement said. "The alleged justification for this bill is based on easily disproven falsehoods. Additionally, making a false claim of citizenship or unlawfully voting in an election is punishable by removal from the United States and a permanent bar to admission. States already have effective safeguards in place to verify voters’ eligibility and maintain the accuracy of voter rolls. This bill would do nothing to safeguard our elections, but it would make it much harder for all eligible Americans to register to vote and increase the risk that eligible voters are purged from voter rolls. The evidence is clear that the current laws to prevent noncitizen voting are working as intended—it is extraordinarily rare for noncitizens to break the law by voting in Federal elections."

The statement continued, "The President has been clear: he will continue fighting to protect Americans’ sacred right to vote in free, fair, and secure elections, including by calling on Congress to pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. If House Republicans really want to do something about securing our border and fixing our broken immigration system, they should vote on the border deal that the President negotiated with a bipartisan group of Senators—this would provide immigration officials the resources they need to do their jobs and be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border that we have seen in decades."

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In response, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who introduced the legislation, said states cannot verify citizenship status and questioned why Democrats would be “fearful” of a bill that would shore up federal elections.

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House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) released a report last month supportive of the SAVE Act, arguing there is “ample evidence that noncitizens are voting in U.S. elections.”



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