by Tom Fitton –
For many years we have fought to restore integrity to elections in the United States, fighting both the Obama Justice Department and its leftist allies, such as the well-funded ACLU. You can sample our efforts here. Finally the issue of election integrity has new national prominence thanks to President Donald Trump’s call for an investigation into illegal voting.
I wrote about this for The Daily Caller:
Leftists and their media outlets have been all too eager to dismiss President Donald Trump’s charge that as many as 5 million illegal aliens voted in the 2016 presidential election, enough to easily swing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.
Many of these pundits, backed by an army of so-called “fact-checkers,” would have you believe that the number of illegals who are registering to vote and voting is insignificant. Oh, there may be the occasional, misguided “undocumented worker” who inadvertently wanders into the election booth, they seem to suggest. But, surely, not enough to make any difference.
Anyone who thinks that needs to think again.
There are a total of 43 million noncitizens currently living within U.S. borders. Of these, approximately 12 million are illegal aliens. Not only are there well-documented reasons to believe that many of them may be violating election integrity, the fact is many on the left are more than happy to see them do so. A Rasmussen Reports poll last year found that 53 percent of the Democratic Party supports allowing illegal aliens to vote.
Part of the problem is that election laws in the United States are a complicated hodgepodge of federal, state, and local rules, regulations, and red tape. Generally speaking, it is illegal for any noncitizens to cast a vote in any election, and those who do are at least theoretically subject to criminal penalties if they are caught.
But many states do not have a voter ID requirement. Worse yet, many states do not even have a requirement to certify citizenship, other than saying out loud that you are a citizen. All too many of the systems that are in place to prevent unlawful voting are either nonexistent or are so weak that they are useless. We are naïve to think that the millions of people who are present in the United States illegally are all resisting the temptation to cast unlawful votes, especially when so much is at stake – including their being able to continue illegally residing within our borders.
As I point out in my book, Clean House, in 2014 a disturbing study by political scientists at Old Dominion found that 6.4 percent of foreign nationals residing in the United States voted in the 2008 presidential election. If the key Old Dominion study results on the 2008 election were applied to 2016 — 1.41 million aliens may have voted illegally, with probably 1.13 million voting for Democrats.
Add to that the 2012 Pew Research Center study noting that “approximately 2.75 million people have active registrations in more than one state.” On top of that, the study revealed, more than “1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as active voters.” Combine those figures with the number of aliens the Old Dominion study cites, and the Trump allegations may not be so far out of line.
A full-scale, non-partisan federal voter fraud investigation is long overdue. I’m not aware of any systematic federal investigation of voter fraud – ever. Initially, such an investigation would be a simple matter of analyzing voter registration databases against federal databases of aliens and deceased individuals. Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity team, headed up by Robert Popper, former Deputy Chief of the Voting Section in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, would be more than happy to help.
Of course we’ll keep you updated on our efforts and those of the Trump administration.
Securing our Borders from Terrorist Threats
This week President Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, when she declared his executive order on illegal immigration. That’s not her job, and the President was right to fire her, as I said in this statement to the press:
President Trump is to be commended for upholding the rule of law in firing Yates for her politicization of the Justice Department. Judicial Watch has long sounded a warning about allowing unvetted refugees into the United States.
According to the official White House statement, President Trump fired her for “refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.” If you doubt that there is a crisis being prevented by the Trump administration’s sensible pause on foreign refugees and other foreign nationals from terror-torn countries, consider just a few JW reports on the threat caused by the failing vetting process for alleged refugees:
• Terrorist Enter U.S. via Resettlement Program for “Vulnerable Refugees”
• Iraqi Refugee Granted U.S. Residency Charged With Terrorism in Texas
• Feds Blame “Lapse in Vetting” for Admitting Syrian Refugees with Terrorist Ties into U.S.
In addition, you may recall how we uncovered the waste, fraud, and lies associated with the Obama refugee program.
As I explained to Bloomberg News, the Left is in full attack mode for open borders (for terrorists, even):
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a Washington-based conservative group that pressed a series of lawsuits to force the release of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, said liberals have a well-funded infrastructure that uses the courts to impose policies they can’t enact through Congress. Fitton said conservatives have nothing to compare to the left’s “legal machinery.”
“The left pretends that disagreements on policy mean their opponents are doing something illegal,” said Fitton, who said liberal groups also benefit from friendly government workers and a sympathetic media. He said his group is monitoring the suits against Trump and “may take steps to enter the litigations on the side of the rule of law.”
Judicial Watch is tracking each and every legal challenge from the ACLU crowd to the Trump immigration initiatives, has launched Freedom of Information Act requests and is considering direct legal action in these lawsuits on behalf of the rule of law and the national security of the United States.
JW Pursues California Supreme Court
Challenge Over Tuition Benefits for Illegal Aliens
A confrontation between certain states and localities and the federal government is looming over the matter of giving sanctuary to illegal aliens. Top of the list is California, which seeks in every perverse way to defy the law. Consider its misuse of its tax dollars in its University of California system.
We just filed a Petition of Review with the California Supreme Court over the University of California’s provision of $27.1 million in taxpayer funds for non-resident tuition and financial aid to illegal aliens. The petition was filed on behalf of Earl De Vries, a legal resident and taxpayer of California (Earl De Vries vs. Regents of the University of California (No. BC555614)).
Federal immigration law requires that a state law providing benefits to illegal aliens must “affirmatively” provide for such eligibility. In 2011, the California State Legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill giving illegal immigrant college students access to state-funded financial aid. Under the California constitution, however, the UC Board of Regents is “entirely independent” of the state legislature in policy matters, so there is no lawful way for the California legislature to allow or require the University of California to provide the public benefits for illegal aliens. And, under the federal law, only state legislatures may provide any in-state tuition and public benefits for illegal aliens. Despite this, the UC Board of Regents began providing the benefits anyway.
In August 2014, JW filed a taxpayer lawsuit on behalf of De Vries in the L.A. County Superior Court, asking the court to halt the estimated annual $19.6 million in non-resident tuition waivers; $4.3 million in taxpayer-funded grants and scholarships; and $3.2 million in state loans the Regents had started giving illegal alien students. Under California law, taxpayers have the right to sue government officials to prevent unlawful expenditures of taxpayer funds and taxpayer-financed resources.
In March 2015, the Superior Court dismissed the complaint and a Court of Appeal subsequently affirmed the lower court rule on December 9, 2016. This is why we are now petitioning the California Supreme Court.
Our legal team argues that the lower courts ignored federal immigration law requiring that a legislature “affirmatively” provide for the illegal alien tuition benefits and that the lower court decisions could upend federal immigration law:
[T]he decision undermines a cohesive national immigration policy, potentially turning a law that allows 50 state legislatures to make decisions into a law that allows 500 or 5,000 state and local institutions to do so [e.g., UC Board of Regents] – weakening the federal government’s ability to conduct unified diplomacy for the entire nation.
California politicians want to do an end run around federal law to force California taxpayers to subsidize illegal aliens. In-state tuition for illegal aliens at the University of California violates state and federal law as surely as any other sanctuary policy – and California tax dollars must not be spent to violate the law.
A Home Run Pick for the Supreme Court
After President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court, I issued this statement:
President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is a victory for Americans who are fed up with corrupt judicial activism. The judicial branch needs as much draining as the rest of the federal government swamp. President Trump avoided the temptation to nominate yet another politician to the Supreme Court. It is good we have a nominee who has a demonstrated record of applying the rule of law rather than legislating from the bench. The U.S. Senate should swiftly confirm him.
Even before the nomination, we had some positive things to say about Judge Gorsuch (per Newsweek ):
What the Right Is Saying
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, tells Newsweek that Gorsuch fits the Scalia mold, which Trump has promised to adhere to in his replacement nominee. “I think conservatives would consider him to be an exciting pick. I think it’s fair to say he’s a leader in terms of conservative jurisprudence and I think he quickly would become a strong voice on the court for his constitutional approach to decision making,” he says.