Gina Rodriguez of the YouTube channel mitu interviews Barack Obama (screenshot).
Did Barack Obama just encourage illegal aliens to vote on Election Day, promising no repercussions if they do?
A videotaped interview with the president has some saying yes, sparking outrage among at least one major media figure and commenters on Twitter.
In an interview with the Latin-oriented YouTube channel mitu, millennial actress Gina Rodriguez asked Obama:
“Many of the millennials, Dreamers, undocumented citizens – and I call them citizens because the contribute to this country – are fearful of voting. So if I vote, will Immigration know where I live? Will they come for my family and deport us?”
Obama responded: “Not true, 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, etc. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential.”
The president’s answer left Neil Cavuto of the Fox Business Network completely stunned.
“I can’t believe that I heard what I heard,” Cavuto said on his broadcast.
“The president isn’t even questioning whether the person who is an illegal is voting, outside of reminding people that if you’re a citizen, you vote. But it’s very clear that the question that is being asked was about illegals voting and afraid that they might be reported to Border Security. You’re illegal. You cannot vote.”
“The President of the United States is saying, ‘Don’t worry, no one will be spying on you, catching you,’” Cavuto added.
“You’re ignoring the fact that you are being questioned about illegal voting, which you can’t do. Why? Because you’re not a citizen of this country!”
See Neil Cavuto’s response:
Obama tells ILLEGALS to VOTE on TV! Hear for yourself!
Obama’s remarks were taken the same way by many on Twitter, including Diana Puig, who tweeted, “He’s basically saying to vote even if ur an illegal in this country.”
The clip that aired on Fox, though, did not include Obama’s follow-up remarks, in which the president said, “If you have a family member who maybe is undocumented, then you have an even greater reason to vote.”
“This has been a huge fear presented especially during this election,” Rodriguez noted.
Obama than added: “And the reason that fear is promoted is because they don’t want people voting. People are discouraged from voting and part of what is important for Latino citizens is to make your voice heard, because you’re not just speaking for yourself. You’re speaking for family members, friends, classmates of yours in school… who may not have a voice. Who can’t legally vote. But they’re counting on you to make sure that you have the courage to make your voice heard.”
Both Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have been opposed to voter ID laws which are designed to make sure only American citizens are able to legally cast a ballot in elections.
Last month, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed the federal government is allowing illegal immigrants to pour into the U.S. so they could vote, Politico reported.
Art Del Cueto, vice president of the union that represents Border Patrol agents, told Trump that agents have been advised not to deport illegals with criminal records.
“The problem that we’re seeing reflected through us as a voice is that some of these individuals that were apprehended with criminal records, they’re not, they’re checking their records, they see that they have criminal records, but they’re setting them aside because at this point they are saying immigration is so tied up with trying to get the people who are on the waiting list to hurry up and get them their immigration status corrected,” Del Cueto said.
“Why? Trump asked. “So they can go ahead and vote before the election,” Del Cueto responded.
“Big statement, fellas,” Trump said, as he motioned to reporters, whom he accused of suppressing such information from the public. “You’re not going to write it. That’s huge. But they’re letting people pour into the country so they can go and vote.”
According to Politico, Del Cueto said the government wants “to hurry up and fast track them so they can go ahead and vote in the election.”
“You hear a thing like that, and it’s a disgrace,” Trump said. “Well, it will be a lot different if I get elected.”
See Gina Rodriguez’s entire interview with Barack Obama:
EXCLUSIVE: Gina Rodriguez Interviews President Obama – mitú