Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera spent a chunk of time on Fox and Friends Friday morning arguing with co-host Steve Doocy over whether half a million undocumented immigrants in New York have just been given the right to vote. Doocy appeared convinced that the city of New York’s new municipal ID program is really just a plot to enfranchise New York’s undocumented population.
The Fox and Friends host announced with certainty that the new municipal ID, which he speculated is “predominantly for illegals”, can be used to vote in local and state elections.
The completely unfounded allegation was quickly shut down by Rivera: “They give you free admission to the zoo and cultural events,” he said, “I do not believe they give you permission to vote.” Geraldo then went into full on lecture mode, explaining that the city of New York has over 500 thousand undocumented immigrants, equal to the population of Las Vegas or Atlanta. “How can we have a half million people in this city and not know who they are?” he asked. “Just taking inventory would make an ID an appropriate and prudent method for government.”
Doocy was unconvinced: “So you think they shouldn’t be able to vote? Because I think they can.” Watch it:
Exactly why Doocy is so certain in his conviction is a mystery. New York state laws state very clearly that proof of citizenship is required in order to vote, which the municipal ID does not provide. One of the aims of the ID program is to facilitate the lives of New York’s substantial undocumented population by making it easier for them to do things like open a bank account or apply for a job.
“You can get a lease, a library card. You can get a bank account; you can do so many of the things in life that aren’t possible without an ID card to connect with the New York City government more deeply,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, during the announcement of the program in New York’s Bronx Zoo yesterday.
Although New York’s municipal ID will give the undocumented easier access to museums and zoos, it will categorically not grant them entry into the voting booth, regardless of what Steve Doocy may believe.
Joaquim Moreira Salles in an intern at Think Progress