IRLI Files Brief Supporting the Seventh Circuit’s Decision to Remove a Non-citizen for Committin

Press Releases

August 14, 2017

Protecting the Integrity of our Electoral Process

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed an amicus curiae brief (attached here) in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s decision to expel from the United States Margarita del Pilar Fitzpatrick, a non-citizen who falsely stated that she was a U.S. citizen on a voter registration form and illegally voted in two federal elections.

In the case of Fitzpatrick v. Sessions, Fitzpatrick claimed that she had received permission to register to vote from a Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) worker, despite the specific and repeated indication on the voter registration form that one must be a U.S. citizen to vote and that a non-citizen who fraudulently registers to vote can be deported.

In its brief, IRLI urged the Supreme Court to deny Fitzpatrick’s petition that it review the case. IRLI argued that allowing a non-citizen to remain in the country after fraudulently voting incentivizes other non-citizens to fraudulently vote and jeopardizes the constitutional rights of all Americans. IRLI noted that every vote cast by a non-citizen cancels out the legitimate vote of a citizen and undermines the public’s confidence in our electoral process. IRLI went on to express support for the Seventh Circuit’s decision to hold Fitzpatrick accountable for her offense because it was her responsibility to determine for herself whether she was eligible to register to vote. Even so, the record indicated that she never received permission from the DMV worker to register to vote or to fraudulently vote in two elections.

Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director, commented, “As the U.S. Supreme Court has stated, ‘Confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy . . . Voters who fear their legitimate votes will be outweighed by fraudulent ones will feel disenfranchised.’ This threat has never been more serious as the size of the noncitizen population is ever increasing and reported instances of noncitizen voter fraud abound.” Wilcox continued, “We urge the Court to deny the petition for review of the Seventh Circuit’s decision in order to preserve the integrity of our elections.”

For additional information, contact: Jade Haney • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

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