Politics & Policy

Will Noncitizens Decide the Election?

Undermining the democratic process.

Americans who believe that Al Gore will graciously accept defeat should remember one thing: Al Gore helped Bill Clinton trade permanent U.S. citizenship for Democratic votes in 1996 and beyond.

A Gore reinvention of a government program called Citizenship USA has been getting a closer look of late, thanks to David Schippers’s book, Sell Out. Schippers reports:

Our sources inside the INS revealed that, in preparation for the 2000 elections, INS agents in the district offices were directed to relax the testing for English, complete every interview within twenty minutes, and ensure that all applicants pass the Civics test by continuing to ask questions until an applicant got a sufficient number right. Sometimes it was necessary to ask twenty or twenty-five questions before four or five were answered correctly.

Sell Out also includes an appendix of documents which demonstrate Al Gore’s direct involvement in turning Citizenship USA into “a pro-Democrat voter mill” in which English tests were waived and criminal records of prospective citizens swept under the rug in places such as New York City, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, and Newark. (Each of these cities was located in a key battleground state during the 1996 presidential election.) Ultimately, over 1 million new citizens were naturalized in time to vote for Clinton-Gore in 1996.

In the land of “no controlling legal authority” that was the Clinton-Gore White House, the end justified any means. Accordingly, on February 15, 1996, Henry Cisneros, then Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, forwarded a memo from the California Active Citizenship Campaign to President Clinton. This memo noted: “INS inaction will deny 300,000 Latinos the right to vote in the 1996 presidential elections [sic] in California.”

On March 21, 1996, a staff member of Gore’s National Performance Review e-mailed a member of the Vice President’s staff: “I favor drastic measures [to reduce the backlog]… If I don’t get what we need, I will call for heavy artillery.” One day later, he reported success in an e-mail addressed to “Albert Gore at EOP-OVP.”

On March 28, Gore was sent another e-mail which complained that “we are going to have way too many people waiting for citizenship in November…. I can’t make [INS head] Doris Meissner delegate broad authority to her field managers. Can you?” Gore replied the same day: “We’ll explore it. Thanks.”

The exploration soon ended and the government’s citizenship procedures were indeed reinvented. One “obsolete regulation” that bit the dust in 1996 was the longstanding (since 1907) requirement that a prospective citizen demonstrate a knowledge of English.

A September 1996 hearing by the Congressional Committee on Government Reform and Oversight’s National Security Subcommittee on “Naturalization Testing Fraud” documented that the Clinton-Gore administration looked the other way while federal contractors across the nation were fraudulently certifying English-language illiterates as having met citizenship standards.

One contractor, the Naturalization Assistance Service (NAS), conducted an estimated 200,000 tests annually. A NAS test was effectively a multiple-choice exam with test takers also asked to write a mere two sentences in English. Just one of those two sentences need be correct. Yet as ABC’s 20/20 reported in 1996, the NAS English test was still too onerous for many of the people who paid to be in a NAS classroom.

A concerned NAS employee, Jewell Elghazali, complained that large batches of tests were written in identical handwriting. Ms. Elghazali was fired. Just how many more forged tests were transformed into certificates of English competence? No one will ever know.

Citizenship USA and wholesale voiding of naturalization requirements weren’t the only Clinton-Gore efforts to undermine the integrity of the political process. Thanks to another Clinton-Gore program, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, better known as the Motor Voter law, we may never know how many votes were improperly cast in the 2000 election by ineligible people.

Motor Voter was nicknamed “Auto Fraudo” because it created a series of incentives for rampant vote fraud. States were required to give voter-registration applications to anyone who applied for a driver’s license or welfare benefits.

For example, in Illinois, the state’s department of public health boasted in a 1995 press release that “as required by the National Voter Registration Act, WIC staff ask clients 18 years of age and older if they are registered to vote at their current address.”

The voter-registration form may state that U.S. citizenship is required and may even include a notice of penalties for perjury. But these requirements are hardly likely to discourage vote fraud. (Can an illegal alien be expected to confess his ineligibility to vote to a DMV clerk?)

Motor Voter forced states with previously strict voter-eligibility requirements, like Florida and Missouri (to pick two examples not at random), to effectively accept anyone’s word that they were eligible to vote.

By 1996, 45 states had complied with Motor Voter requirements. And that is when we started to hear about noncitizens illegally deciding elections. Illegal voters defeated Bob Dornan in 1996. The following year, the Miami mayor’s race was overturned, also on the basis of widespread absentee-ballot fraud.

Longtime fans of Bill Buckley’s writings will no doubt recall him reporting with pardonable pride that his grandfather, John Buckley, had such a strong “sense of civic obligation” that he refused to allow his death in 1904 to prevent him from adding his vote to Lyndon Johnson’s 87-vote plurality in the 1948 Senate race. Thanks to Motor Voter, it looks like the problem of dead people voting is no longer confined to South Texas.

The Indianapolis Star reported on November 5: “Tens of thousands of people appear on the [Indiana] voter rolls more than once.” A person need not be alive to be eligible to vote in the state: “More than 300 dead people on the rolls were discovered…. One of those registered, a South Bend woman, died in April 1998 but was recorded as voting in that fall’s general election.”

On October 23, John Fund presciently warned on the Wall Street Journal’s Internet opinion page that “ballot-box fraud may have real impact at the polls.” He noted that “47 states don’t require any proof of U.S. residence for enrollment.” Fund also reported that “Motor Voter has added some eight million people to the rolls.”

Those 8 million voters still weren’t enough for the peace of mind of the Gore campaign. In a still-developing story first reported by WorldNetDaily.com editor Joseph Farah on November 6, the California Democratic party was apparently sending mailings, complete with a “personal Voter Identification Card” to unregistered voters in the state. The letter was written in both English and Spanish. You can see a copy of the letter here. The mailing in question was received by a noncitizen who had never been a registered voter.

Janet Reno is likely to take an interest in one of the charges floating around these days. (Hint: It isn’t the question of how California Democrats obtained their mailing list.) While federal law leaves a number of election decisions up to the states, challenges based on violations of voting rights are federal matters. This is the reason the NAACP has requested an investigation by Reno into Florida voting procedures.

The Reno Justice Department has a record of abusing its discretion. Floods of illegal campaign contributions by foreign nationals to various Clinton-Gore election efforts never sparked much curiosity. Yet the Justice Department was quick to invent a new violation previously unknown to voting-rights law in a 1994 bond issue vote in San Antonio, Texas. A private group had failed to provide Spanish translations of “several newsletters, door-hanger advertisements and posters” and only held one informational meeting which “included Spanish translation.” The election was overturned.

I suspect that a lawsuit claiming violations of the federal Voting Rights Act is waiting in the wings should Bush be declared the winner in Florida. This suspicion was strengthened during Jesse Jackson’s speech in Florida on November 9. Jackson mentioned that “we know many Haitian-Americans were denied assistance in the voting booth, which they can expect and accept by law.”

The Clinton-Gore record of insisting on making omelets no matter how many eggs must be broken in the process suggests that the Gore campaign has good reason to fret over potential recounts in places other than Florida. The Bush people would do well to expand the conversation to ineligible voters nationwide, instead of allowing the Gore folks to dominate the discussion with complaints about a few votes in one Florida community. Iowa, where Gore now leads by 5,253 votes out of 1.3 million cast, and Wisconsin, where Gore is ahead by 5,921 votes out of 2.5 million cast, both deserve scrutiny.

The legitimacy of Gore’s popular-vote-victory claim deserves far more attention than it has been given to date. When the question becomes, “Is it worth overturning the Electoral College just to preserve the Clinton-Gore corruption of the democratic process?” the answer should be obvious.


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