BERRY: Will States Prevent Illegal Immigrants From Unlawfully Voting In November?

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Mike Berry Contributor
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During the last three years, the Biden Administration has presided over the worst border crisis in our history, with roughly over 11 million illegal aliens who either snuck into our country or were apprehended. The results have been devastating and destructive to the fabric of American life — border towns and major cities alike are overflowing with illegal aliens, taxpayer resources are being drained to provide services for migrants and too many Americans, like Laken Riley, have become victims of violent crimes. All of this was preventable if the Biden Administration did its job to secure the border using existing authorities and enforcing immigration law in American communities. But for three years, the administration has refused to change their failed strategy even as the un-secure southern border has become a leading issue in the 2024 election.

The obvious question is why hasn’t the Biden Administration changed course? The most plausible explanation, though not the only one, is that the administration believes illegal aliens will impermissibly tip the election in Biden’s favor. This concern is legitimate because some illegal aliens who have been allowed into our country are receiving Social Security numbers, work permits and driver’s licenses — all avenues that could lead to illegal aliens ending up on a state’s voter rolls.

If America’s founders were alive today, they would insist that the states should step in where the federal government has failed. Accordingly, America First Policy Institute (AFPI) recently took legal action in nine states with some of the highest illegal immigrant populations demanding they take steps to ensure that only citizens are registered to vote in their state. The scale of the problem Biden has imported cannot be overstated. The estimated 11 million illegal aliens is equivalent to the population of eleven states and the District of Columbia combined, which together account for 41 electoral votes. If mere percentages of these illegal aliens register it could have a massive impact on the election. For example, if just 0.4% of these 11 million illegally cast a ballot, that would mean roughly 44,000 illegal votes; put into context, that is approximately the 2020 margin separating the top two candidates in Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin, combined.

Aside from the practical impact, there is a vital Constitutional concern.  Too many have fought too long to have their votes diluted by non-citizens. The Supreme Court has held that voters, “who fear their legitimate votes will be outweighed by fraudulent ones will feel disenfranchised,” and that voting rights are equally undermined by the “dilution of the weight of a citizen’s vote,” as by the outright denial of the right to vote. Diluting a citizen’s vote with even one unlawful ballot will only undermine the public’s trust in elections. 

The current problem is exacerbated by the 30-year-old National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”), which has limited the ability of states to collect citizenship information at the time a person registers to vote. To this end, newly proposed modifications to the NVRA are a much needed and welcome step forward.  Until Congress acts, states can and should use available tools and databases to police their new registrants and ensure that Biden’s flood of illegal immigrants will not influence the upcoming election.

Mike Berry is a former Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marines and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Litigation at the America First Policy Institute.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.