Seen as a civic duty by immigrants, voting can have serious consequences
The New York Times has an article on the perils of voting before becoming a citizen:
"...the penalties can be severe. Lawyers at the Legal Aid Society, a nonprofit group for low-income New Yorkers, said that they had handled at least eight cases in the past few years involving permanent residents who faced deportation because they had registered to vote. Noncitizens who are convicted in criminal court of having made a false claim of citizenship for the purpose of registering to vote in a federal election can be fined and imprisoned for up to a year, then deported.
Advocates for immigrants said that in most cases, those who violated the voting law did so unwittingly.
“It really annoys me that they’re just trying to do their civic duty for no pecuniary gain at all, yet they wind up in removal proceedings,” said Jeffrey N. Brauwerman, a lawyer in Coral Gables, Fla., and a former immigration judge, who has represented four immigrants that the government tried to deport for registering to vote."
Posted: to Citizenship News on Sun, Oct 17, 2010
Updated: Sun, Oct 17, 2010