From the Sacramento Bee. Opinion. July 30.
Editorial: Truly shameful
Doolittle tries to whip up anti-immigrant sentiment with a bogus e-mail 'poll'
Published 12:01 am PDT Sunday, July 30, 2006
With congressional elections just three months away, politicians across the country are hoping to whip up a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment and ride it to victory. Few are pushing this distasteful strategy as hard as John Doolittle, the Republican congressman from Rocklin.
In a recent e-mail to constituents on his congressional letterhead, Doolittle is conducting what he calls a "poll" on the question, "Should illegal immigrants be allowed to vote in our elections?"
This is nothing but scaremongering and electioneering. The question itself is silly, and Doolittle knows it.
Of course illegal immigrants should not be allowed to vote, and they are not. There are laws against it and stiff penalties for those who break those laws. And all of the available evidence suggests violations are rare.
Doolittle's "poll" ignores all that. In bold print he asserts flatly that "many illegal immigrants" are voting in our elections. He asserts, again in bold print, "Some estimate that thousands of illegal immigrants are allowed to vote each year."
Doolittle, the e-mail declares, intends to "stop this outrageous and illegal activity." He invites recipients to "participate in a districtwide poll I am conducting," which he says he will present to his colleagues in Congress.
The e-mail is clearly intended to convince Doolittle's constituents that hordes of illegal immigrants are voting in U.S. elections. But is that so? A June 22 hearing of the House Committee on Administration, which Doolittle attended, made it clear that the evidence of illegals voting is minuscule and anecdotal.
At that hearing, much was made of a Department of Justice report of vote fraud prosecutions from October 2002 through October 2005. But a look at the report shows that a grand total of 13 noncitizens were convicted of voting in U.S. elections. That is 13 ballots out of 196,139,871 cast between October 2002 and August 2005. Most of those who voted illegally were legal residents, not "illegal immigrants".