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Biden Officially Opposes Bill Requiring Voters To Prove Citizenship

President Joe Biden listens during a meeting with Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Joe Biden formally rejected on Monday a bill in Congress that would require individuals to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote in elections for federal office.

policy statement from the Biden administration said it “strongly opposes” the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act, which was introduced by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) earlier this year and is expected to get a vote in the Republican-led House as early as this week, but did not mention the prospect of a veto.

“It is already illegal for noncitizens to vote in Federal elections — it is a Federal crime punishable by prison and fines. The alleged justification for this bill is based on easily disproven falsehoods,” the statement said. “Additionally, making a false claim of citizenship or unlawfully voting in an election is punishable by removal from the United States and a permanent bar to admission.”

The statement added, “States already have effective safeguards in place to verify voters’ eligibility and maintain the accuracy of voter rolls. This bill would do nothing to safeguard our elections, but it would make it much harder for all eligible Americans to register to vote and increase the risk that eligible voters are purged from voter rolls.”

While some municipalities in a few states and Washington, D.C., allow non-citizens to vote in local elections, Republicans have argued the SAVE Act — which also would push states to remove non-citizens from voter rolls for federal office “at any time upon receipt of documentation or verified information that a registrant is not a United States citizen” — is needed to combat the ongoing border crisis and shore up election integrity.

“Federal law currently PROHIBITS states from verifying citizenship status during registration for federal elections,” Roy posted to X on Monday. “The SAVE Act requires proof of citizenship to register and would remove non-citizens from voter rolls. What are Democrats fearful of?  This is basic stuff, you would think …”

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