Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.

Leading immigration-reform advocate Rep. Tom Tancredo has introduced a bill that would penalize states refusing to require proof of U.S. citizenship for voting.

Under the Colorado Republican’s Voter Integrity Protection Act, states would need to see a valid photo ID proving U.S. citizenship for voting or be penalized by having their federal highway funding cut by as much as 40 percent.

Tancredo, chairman of the 104-member House Immigration Reform Caucus, noted that in some parts of the U.S. “all residents are granted a de facto right to vote, regardless of whether or not they are citizens.”

“Such widespread voter fraud blurs the line between residency and citizenship, and it reinforces the message that you don’t need to be an American to have every right and privilege of American citizenship,” he said. If even non-citizens can vote, what value does American citizenship have anymore?”

Tancredo, author of WND Books’ “In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security,” believes voter fraud is widespread, pointing as an example to comments to a largely Hispanic audience by Democrat Francine Busby during her unsuccessful campaign for the 50th congressional district seat in California: “You don’t need papers for voting.”

While Busby lost to Republican Brian Bilbray, illegal votes might have made the difference in other races, including Republican Rep. Bob Dornan’s 1996 loss in Orange County, California, to Loretta Sanchez by fewer than 1,000 votes. State elections officials discovered at least 300 votes were cast by non-citizens.

“In many states today, you can register to vote without ever being required to show that you are a citizen,” Tancredo said.

Motor-voter registration and a rise in absentee ballots have only exacerbated voter fraud, he insisted.

“If certain states are really so committed to protecting illegal aliens who vote, let them put their money where their mouth is and take a hard hit in federal funding,” Tancredo declared.

The congressman’s bill stipulates, beginning in 2008, that non-compliant states would sacrifice 10 percent of their federal highway funding, with an additional cut of 10 percent annually, up to four years. If a state complies during the first four years, it would receive its entire lost federal highway funding.

The bill also provides funding to make free photo identifications available in order to avoid any challenges based on the 24th Amendment’s prohibition of poll taxes.

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