We reported yesterday on some comments that President Barack Obama made in an interview that took the internet by storm. In an interview with the YouTube channel “mitu,” actress Gina Rodriguez asked Obama
“Many of the millennials, Dreamers, undocumented citizens – and I call them citizens because the contribute to this country – are fearful of voting. So if I vote, will Immigration know where I live? Will they come for my family and deport us?”
Obama responded: “Not true, and the reason is, first of all, when you vote, you are a citizen yourself. And there is not a situation where the voting rolls somehow are transferred over and people start investigating, etc. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential.”
Neil Cavuto was the first in the mainstream media to comment on the president’s remarks, which he found stunning:
The comments went viral, going so far as being picked up by the Drudge Report today as its lead story.
But were the comments taken out of context? You can watch the full interview here and decide for yourself, but here’s what the critics at Snopes are saying:
“In the full interview, it’s clear Obama is urging Latino citizens to vote in order to give voice to members of their community who are precluded from doing so by lack of citizenship, not urging non-citizens to vote illegally. Rodriguez’s question seems to be addressing a fear that voting will result in scrutiny on one’s family which could result in deportation of undocumented relatives.”
Even giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, he still didn’t correct the interviewer and say illegals CANNOT VOTE. It’s no mystery why people interpreted his comments the way he did.
Trust me – he’d like them to be able to vote. The Daily Caller reported in September that Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson raised concerns that the Obama administration was expediting the naturalization process to more citizens could vote in tomorrow’s election.
“We write to express serious concern about an apparent push by your department to rush adjudication of naturalization applications before the upcoming presidential election, presumably in an attempt to create as many new citizens as possible,” they wrote in a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. This was after an email obtained by Senate Republicans showing a Texas immigration office looking to get as many people onto the citizenship rolls before the end of September, which would give them enough time to register to vote tomorrow.
Grassley and Johnson, respectively expressed two concerns raised by the email. One is that the naturalization process is being politicized. The other is that speeding up the adjudication process poses risks to national security.
“Your department seems intent on approving as many naturalization cases as quickly as possible at a time when it should instead be putting on the brakes and reviewing past adjudication,” the letter reads.
They point out that a DHS inspector general’s report released last week found that 858 naturalized citizens from “special interest” countries — or those with high rates of terrorism — had deportation orders under another identity.
The letter does not mention it, but the Democratic party and its presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, have ramped up efforts to get eligible immigrants to file for citizenship in time to register for the November election. A naturalization surge would likely help Democrats at the polls.
In my opinion, the best case scenario for the “fact-checkers” telling us what Obama “really meant” is that the man had a Freudian slip.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]