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Is HB 328 the “Non-Citizen Voter Protection Act”?!

Harry Warren Photo

Rep Harry Warren (R) is from Salisbury, NC.

(Raleigh, NC) June 10, 2015—Another name for HB 328, a bill requiring the DMV to issue driver licenses to illegal immigrants, might be the “Non-Citizen Voter Protection Act,” because of a sneaky little provision [§ 20-37.8A (i)] that expressly bars the DMV from sharing the names of illegal immigrant drivers, “for any purpose other than the issuance of the restricted identification card,” and, despite the sponsor’s assurances to the contrary, this information blockage extends to the State Board of Elections, who has a duty to detect and prosecute illegal immigrants caught voting.

Representative Burt Jones raised the issue of interagency cooperation at yesterday’s hearing (beginning at the 26:30 mark in the video linked here), when he read a related section of the bill [Section 6 (d)(x)] and asked if Rep. Harry Warren (R-Rowan and the bill’s primary sponsor) was citing any precedence on his bill to justify forcing the DMV to hide information from outside agencies trying to investigate criminal activity. Warren said, “no.”

This was the section Rep Jones read aloud:

“A State agency or official shall not use any information submitted as part of the application process for a restricted drivers permit to seek the removal from the United States of the applicant or for any purpose other than the issuance of the restricted drivers permit [emphasis added]. Nor shall a State agency or official release information pertaining to the immigration status of an applicant for a restricted drivers permit . . . .”

Rep Warren defended the secrecy by chiding Rep Jones to read more of the bill (see the 27:40 mark).

“If you continue reading the whole section instead of just the selected part, you’ll see . . . it actually instructs the agency to use the information to ensure that illegally present folks do not get access to benefits or registration to vote or things they are not entitled to . . .  privileges that are reserved for citizens.”

“We commend the sponsor not allowing illegal immigrants to use those ID cards for voting,” said Jay DeLancy, Director of Voter Integrity Project, “but wonder how the Board of Elections will be able to find the ones who are already voting.”

VIP recommends an amendment to require DMV to share with the SBOE, any and all personally identifying information of illegal immigrant drivers who would receive the proposed licenses and any who are registered should be removed. Any who voted have committed a felony and they should be fingerprinted, deported and permanently barred from citizenship.

Today, we asked Rep Warren to comment on this glaring deficiency and will gladly post his reply. Click this link to see our query to Rep Warren:  Warren_H328_Query

Rep Warren responded to our query, saying, “Rep. Jones was incorrect in his assertion that the information provided by an applicant for a RESTRICTED DRIVER PERMIT or a RESTRICTED ID could not be shared with other State agencies.” [His emphasis], stressing the intent to “help prevent voter registration [by non-citizen applicants].

See Rep Warren’s reply here: Warren_H328_reply

We agree and appreciate the safeguards in this bill to prevent future non-citizen vote fraud, but see nothing in the bill to enable SBOE to detect past cases.

“It’s a felony for a non-citizen to vote in a US election,” said DeLancy, “but this bill currently prevents their detection. We hope somebody will fix this problem.”

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H/T: The immigration watchdog group, NC Fire

Correction: Rep Warren’s first name is Harry and not Henry as previously posted. Apologies for the mistake.

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