Trouble starts when citizenship is treated as an annoying speed bump.
"Start spreading the news ... I'm voting today."
If the Democratic Party and its constituent groups have their way, the Big Apple's non-citizen immigrants will be singing that variation on the Sinatra anthem "New York, New York" at the polls next year.
That's the plan, as outlined at a recent press conference announcing the "Engaging Immigrant New York City" campaign, which its organizers call "an initiative to mobilize immigrant New Yorkers in preparation for the 2016 Presidential elections."
This is exactly the kind of grass-roots activism envisioned by billionaire George Soros, who has committed $5 million to expand the electorate and loosen voting requirements by getting rid of photo ID laws and other recent election reforms.
Increasingly, citizenship – a prime condition for voting – is being treated as an annoying speed bump on the way to the election booth. President Obama's Justice Department has even sued Kansas and Arizona over their laws requiring proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote.
Although New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has not publicly embraced the idea of registering non-citizens, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has gone on record supporting legislation to allow legal residents who are not citizens to vote in city elections, according to capitalnewyork.com.
Meanwhile, the mayor's office is translating voter registration forms into "more common languages," according to Murad Awawdeh of the New York Immigration Coalition, who was quoted by New York Daily News columnist Albor Ruiz. Mr. Ruiz, who supports the effort, adds that officials should also "provide voter education materials in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Urdu."
"After all," says Mr. Ruiz, "this is a city where nearly 40% of the residents are foreign-born, over 60 percent speak a language other than English at home, and about 20 percent – or 1,480,072 – of all registered voters are naturalized citizens or the U.S.-born children of immigrants."
Indeed, the city government puts the number of immigrants at over three million, which is larger than all but two other American cities (New York City itself and Los Angeles).
A major sponsor of the immigrant campaign is Citizen Action of New York (CANY), whose website says it promotes "big issues that are at the center of transforming society," and "works to elect progressive candidates." CANY's supporters include a litany of unions, such SEIU and the UAW, the Proteus Fund, the New York state Trial Lawyers Association, Empire State Pride Agenda and other liberal pressure groups, many of whom receive funding directly or indirectly from Mr. Soros' Open Society Institute.
The New York campaign is a microcosm of Hillary Clinton's electoral wish list in her June 4 speech in Houston, where she charged that, "Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting."
The former U.S. senator from New York called for automatic voter registration, restoring part of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down, a mandatory minimum 20-day early voting period in all states, out-of-precinct voting, allowing more convicts to vote, and reversal of voter photo ID laws.
Former Justice Department Voting Section attorney J. Christian Adams, a member of the American Civil Rights Union's policy board, explains what's behind her demands: "Giving Washington, DC, renewed power under the Voting Rights Act allows Justice Department bureaucrats with a long history of abuse to leverage power for Democrats behind closed doors. Allowing voters to cast ballots in precincts where they don't live encourages electoral chaos and subsidizes those who cannot make their way to the correct location. Because felons empirically vote for Democrats at a 9:1 rate, ending state qualification laws on felon voting will help Democrats win. Not verifying the citizenship of registrants allows criminal aliens to vote for Democrats."
Moreover, extended early voting "allows the Democrats to conduct a prolonged election free from the watchful eyes of election observers in cities where nearly everyone is a Democrat," says Mr. Adams, who has prosecuted vote fraud cases. "Six weeks of early voting is unmanageable in places like Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago and other cities notorious for election crimes."
Mr. Soros, who bankrolls virtually every major left-wing organization in America, is also waging a litigation war against voter integrity, funding lawsuits to overturn electoral reforms in Ohio and in Wisconsin. He is helping to pay for a case that Democrat election law attorney Marc Elias and several other groups filed last year in North Carolina, according to The New York Times.
"Mr. Elias's clients include four major national Democratic Party committees – as well as the Clinton presidential campaign, which is not a party to the lawsuits, though her team has spoken favorably of them," the Times reports.
Lax immigration enforcement and relaxed voting rules are a formula for massive vote fraud. More and more, it appears that Democrats are counting on this to carry the day in 2016.
Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union. This column first appeared in The Washington Times.
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