As House Democrats were on the verge of passing a bill that effectively allows noncitizens to vote, a freshman Republican lawmaker proposed a motion asking Congress to affirm that “allowing illegal immigrants the right to vote devalues the franchise and diminishes the voting power of United States citizens.”
Democrats blocked the GOP motion then approved on party lines a bill that defends localities that allow illegal immigrants to vote in their elections.
The Democrats’ bill, which likely will die in the Senate, would expand voter registration and ease voter ID requirements. It passed by a 234-193 vote.
The Republican motion sponsored by Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, garnered 191 Republican votes and just six from Democrats. One Republican, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, also voted against it, along with 227 Democrats, Breitbart News reported.
Crenshaw’s motion would have sent the bill back to the House Judiciary Committee to be amended to condemn illegal immigrants voting in American elections.
The proposed amendment states voting “is fundamental to a functioning democracy.”
“It is of paramount importance that the United States maintains the legitimacy of its elections and protects them from interference, including interference from foreign threats and illegal voting,” the amendment says.
Crenshaw’s motion points out that San Francisco allowed noncitizens to register to vote in school board elections but federal law prohibits noncitizens from voting in national elections.
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights movement hero, led opposition to the Republican motion.
“We are prepared to open up the political process and let all of the people come in,” he said.
Crenshaw pointed out that just six months ago, 49 Democrats joined the then-Republican majority in a vote to condemn noncitizen voting.
“It sounds like I’m making it up. What kind of government would cancel the vote of its own citizens, and replace it with noncitizens?” Crenshaw asked.