Garden State Gotcha: How Opponents of Citizenship Verification for Voting Are Putting New Jersey’s Noncitizens at Risk of Deportation

Published On: September 11th, 2017

After a six-month review of New Jersey county voter registration files, the Public Interest Legal Foundation found numerous enforcement flaws for the National Voter Registration Act (Motor Voter) that unnecessarily expose noncitizens to future naturalization challenges and even deportation without clearly-justified reforms.

The original PDF report is available here.

Summary Findings:

  • 1,069 admitted and officially recorded noncitizens in 11 counties engaged on some level with the NJ voter registration system;
  • 37 percent of aliens self-reporting their status also cast ballots prior;
  • 78 percent of noncitizens were invited to register while receiving driver’s licenses or in other government transactions like community college admissions or public schools; and
  • Eight counties, including one “sanctuary county”, claimed to have never seen noncitizens registered or applying to vote.

“It’s time to have a serious discussion about modernizing our Motor Voter law and determine how we can verify citizenship in the process,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Anyone who disagrees exposes Americans to vote dilution and helps write one-way tickets for deportees.”

Our press release on the report is here.

Access to evidentiary exhibits referenced throughout can be found, here.

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This report was updated in October 2017 to reflect the review of Essex and Middlesex Counties.

Public Interest Legal Foundation