CREDIT: AP Photo/David Goldman
One congressman believes that Georgia could soon be led by Democrats if “illegal aliens” are given a chance to vote. During a Georgia Public Radio interview on Monday, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) said that it would be against the law to allow undocumented immigrants to vote and that they also use federal entitlement programs.
When asked how the changing demographics of Georgia could play out in upcoming elections, Broun insisted that legalizing undocumented immigrants would only serve to help the Democratic party:
It only helps the Democrats if we legalize all these illegal aliens in this country, who the Democrats want to put on federal welfare programs. And actually they’re on federal welfare programs today. The Democrats want to make them all basically dependent upon the federal government so that they can continue their radical big government agenda.
The only way Georgia is going to change is if we have all these illegal aliens in here in Georgia, [and] give them the right to vote. It would be morally wrong, it would be illegal to do so, under our current law. Actually, all these illegal aliens are getting federal largesse and taking taxpayers’ dollars. That’s the only way this state is going to become Democratic again.
Even ignoring his use of the increasingly outdated phrase “illegal alien,” Broun is leaving out some key facts. Undocumented immigrants do not automatically become citizens (and thus privy to the right to vote) once the President signs an immigration bill. Even the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill, which is widely panned by House Republicans, includes a 13-year hurdle for immigrants to go through before they can apply for citizenship. Still others want to see the creation of an even more difficult pathway to citizenship or even no pathway at all.
Undocumented immigrants also do not qualify for most federal programs. And for a program like emergency Medicaid for which they do qualify, undocumented immigrants on the whole put more into the health care system than they take out.
Even as Broun criticized House Republicans for going “soft” on immigration reform, nearly 80 percent of his state’s voters overwhelmingly support a reform bill that includes many of the provisions in the Senate immigration bill like paying fines and learning English. What’s more, nationwide, 71 percent of American voters support a similar bill.