In a videotaped interview with Gina Rodriguez, posted on Friday, President Obama seemed to convey to illegal immigrants that there will be no repercussions if they illegally vote. His message to illegals seemed to be that, while they can’t legally vote, no one will punish them if they try.
Rodriguez asked Obama, “Is the election rigged?” He replied, “No,” then added, “Even though people try to discourage you from voting, if you want to vote, and you show up at your polling place, they can’t stop you from voting.”
At a minimum, he seemed to be making it clear to illegal immigrants that they and their families have no reason to be “fearful of voting.”
Rodriguez then asked, “Many of the millennials, ‘dreamers,’ undocumented ‘citizens’ — and I call them ‘citizens’ ’cause they contribute to this country — are fearful of voting. So if I vote, will Immigration [and Customs Enforcement] know where I live? Will they come for my family and deport us?”
The “dreamers” are the first batch of illegal immigrants that Obama lawlessly declared to be legal, after having said in reply to those who had asked him to do this, “There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”
Obama didn’t rebuke Rodriguez for her question. He didn’t say that illegal immigrants should be “fearful of voting.” He didn’t start his answer by saying, “Illegal immigrants and ‘dreamers’ can’t vote, because they aren’t citizens.” Instead, he said, “Not true.”
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Obama then elaborated, “And the reason is, first of all, when you vote, you are a citizen yourself, and there is not a situation where the voting rolls somehow are transferred over and people start investigating, etc. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential.”
Obama’s words could certainly be construed as registering agreement with Rodriguez’s peculiar definition of “citizenship.” This is especially true because Obama appears to be using “you” in the general sense, rather than to refer to Rodriguez specifically. Obama could also be implying that the very act of voting makes one a “citizen.” At a minimum, he seemed to be making it clear to illegal immigrants that they and their families have no reason to be “fearful of voting.”
Rodriquez responded, “This has been a huge fear presented, especially during this election.”
Obama replied, “The reason that fear is promoted is because they don’t want people voting.” Moments later, he referred to the need for “Latino citizens” to vote, and contrasted their situation with “family members, friends, classmates of yours in school who may not have a voice, who can’t legally vote.” But he did so only after answering Rodriguez’s question about illegal immigrants’ being “fearful of voting” by suggesting that no one will get deported for voting.
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I have argued that the three main reasons why a Hillary Clinton presidency would be so damaging for the country are that it would lead to more open-borders immigration policies, more disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law, and more Obamacare. This episode epitomizes the first two of these three.
Jeffrey H. Anderson, author of “An Alternative to Obamacare,” is a Hudson Institute senior fellow.