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Republicans try to use election security bill to attack immigrants

House Republicans attempted to add unrelated provisions targeting immigrants to an election security bill.

By Emily Singer - June 27, 2019
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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy

Leave it to Republicans to try and inject their anti-immigrant hatred into unrelated bills.

The House on Thursday is slated to vote on an election security bill that would “require voting systems used in elections for Federal office to produce a voter-verified paper ballot of each vote cast on the system” — an effort to ensure that hostile actors can’t hack into electronic voter systems and change the outcome of an election.

Republicans, however, tried to get wholly unrelated amendments that target immigrants added to the legislation

Two GOP lawmakers submitted amendments to the legislation that would do two things: First, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) submitted an amendment that would block states that have so-called “sanctuary cities” from receiving part of the $600 million in funding that the bill would authorize to help states secure their elections. And second, Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) attempted to add another amendment that would make clear that immigrants do not have the right to vote.

Both amendments had absolutely nothing to do with election security. Reschenthaler’s amendment was purely retaliatory, attempting to force states to enact anti-immigrant policies in order to receive election security funding.

Republicans love to target “sanctuary city” policies, which do not allow local law enforcement officers to become de facto immigration enforcement. Experts, however, say sanctuary cities are actually safer because undocumented immigrants can feel safe to both report crime and testify against criminals to local law enforcement without fear of being deported.

Lesko’s amendment, on the other hand, is totally unnecessary. It’s already federal law that only U.S. citizens have the right to vote, so her amendment is stupid and pointless.

Neither amendment was added to the bill, as Democrats on the House Rules Committee blocked them from being added.

Nevertheless, Republicans tried to get them to a vote, because nothing is too low for GOP lawmakers.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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