The Department of Homeland Security is opening up its immigration database to several battleground states that want to identify and kick off non-citizens from their voter registration rolls, NPR reported.
Homeland Security initially denied Florida's request to access the database, arguing it would violate voting rights laws, before a federal judge sided with Florida and forced DHS to open the database. Florida, Colorado, Nevada and other battleground states may soon start using the data to purge legal immigrants who have not yet become citizens from the rolls.
Florida notified 2,700 people--60 percent of them Hispanic--that their voter registration would be automatically revoked if they didn't prove their citizenship. The Florida officials relied on a state database that had out-of-date citizenship information, and most of the people contacted by reporters on the list have proven or stated their citizenship, according to the Miami Herald. Voting rights groups have criticized the purge for happening so close to the election, which gives people removed in error little time to re-register. Some Democrats argue the purges and voter ID laws intentionally discourage minority voters who tend to vote Democratic, but supporters argue that they're a necessary way to prevent voter fraud.
- Politics & Government