Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) claims, just days before the election, that President Obama has called on undocumented immigrants to commit voter fraud on Tuesday.
The video interview was “one of the most shocking things that President Obama has said,” Sessions told The Bob Frantz Authority radio show on Monday.
“He needs to absolutely, today, correct that,” Sessions said during the radio interview. “You cannot vote if you’re not a citizen. How basic is this? He is the chief law enforcement officer in America… He needs to make sure that the American people know that you cannot vote if you’re not a citizen. Give me a break. It’s a crime.”
None of this is true.
In a video interview with actress Gina Rodriguez last week, Obama actually urged Latino citizens to vote and stressed that they would not put undocumented family members at risk of deportation.
Rodriguez asked President Obama whether federal immigration officials would single out Latino voters with undocumented family members, or as she put them, “undocumented citizens…because they contribute to this country.”
“Not true,” Obama responded. “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, et cetera. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential in terms of who you voted for. If you have a family member who maybe is undocumented, then you have an even greater reason to vote.”
In a similar statement made Sunday, Sessions called on Obama to make clear that he meant Latino voters in the video interview because “the failure to clarify this statement will only add further credibility to the public’s concerns about the integrity of this election.”
If the suggestion for election rigging sounds familiar, it’s because Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump often claims that the election is rigged to derail his candidacy, including biased polls, media, and voting machines.
There has been little evidence to back up Trump’s claim that widespread election rigging happens. In fact, a Trump supporter was recently arrested for voting twice for the Republican candidate because she was convinced one vote would be switched.
There is more evidence, however, of voter intimidation, a tactic condoned by Trump. A Trump supporter recently circulated an image depicting a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent arresting an alleged undocumented immigrant in the back of a voter line. The photo was fake, but intended to scare Latino voters with immigrant family members.
The idea of an undocumented immigrant even trying to vote seems far fetched. Doing so would be a felony, punishable by up to three years of imprisonment and even deportation — and would have virtually no chance of changing the outcome of the election.