Make sure you’re not accidentally registered to vote if you’re not a citizen.
On May 11, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order to create a new Commission for Election Integrity. Vice-chaired by notorious anti-immigrant Kris Kobach (the guy who designed the Muslim registry, NSEERS, and co-authored Arizona’s “show me your papers” law) this new commission will seek to uncover “widespread” evidence of voter fraud. He promised to do this early on in his Presidency:
That means they will be looking for anything to increase the number of supposed cases.
A few years ago, we represented a refugee who had gone to the DMV to get a driver’s license and, unbeknownst to him, had registered to vote by signing onto a “packet” of forms. No one asked whether he was a US citizen; he was eligible for a driver’s license, and that was it. He nearly lost his chance to become a citizen – we were able to “timely recant” his registration, to prevent his near-certain deportation. (There are very few waivers for falsely claiming to be a US citizen.)
These cases are more common than you’d think: most folks doing voter registration drives are not aware of the consequences of voter registration on non-citizens. With Trump’s new commission, we’re going to see a lot more. One of the things Kobach has said he wants to do is to run the immigration database against the voter rolls. Once that’s done, we’re going to see prosecutions for voter fraud skyrocket, and all of these people – many of whom may have accidentally registered – will be placed into deportation proceedings.
Protect yourself. If you are not a citizen, call your local election board (usually at the county level) and make sure you are NOT registered.
This Wikipedia link has links to nearly all state voter portals, which may help you be able to search for your name.
And if you are a non-citizen and find you are registered to vote, contact a lawyer immediately.