In the run up to Election Day, President Barack Obama gave an interview to MITU, a media service aimed at millennial Hispanics. This softball interview by Gina Rodriguez has generated considerable controversy because many have discerned that Mr. Obama muddied the waters about illegal immigrants voting.
If one watches the entire segment, Snopes purports that Mr. Obama makes some distinctions that only Latino citizens can vote and they ought to do so to represent all in their community. The controversial colloquy reads:
RODRIGUEZ: Many of the millennials, Dreamers, undocumented citizens -- and I call them citizens because they 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: 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, et cetera. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential in terms of who you voted for. If you have a family member who maybe is undocumented, then you have an even greater reason to vote.
RODRIGUEZ: This has been a huge fear presented especially during this election.
OBAMA: 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...
RODRIGUEZ: Your entire community.
OBAMA: ... 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.
This would be typical Democrat identity politics.
The problem is that the interviewer led off the segment by declaring that because illegal aliens "contribute to the country", they are undocumented citizens. Rather than disabuse Ms. Rodriguez of little things like the law, Obama vaguely states that you are a citizen when you are voting and the anonymity of a vote is sacrosant.
In addition, this generous take on an oleaginous interview on illegals and voting was a blanket statement from President Obama in which he claimed that if you show up at the polls, no one will stop you from voting. The young reporter deliberately turns to the camera and flashes a smarmy smile.
Perhaps this would explain why the Department of Justice warned conservative poll watchers that they might face imprisonment for voter intimidation if they interfere with voter access.
For a lawyer, Barack Obama imprecise rhetoric about voting may well have been intended to encourage as many people to the polls as possible and encouraging illegal votes. Some states allow for same day registration. And the Supreme Court has made it difficult to prove identity or citizenship, to echo Hillary Clinton's Benghazi testimony, "At this point, what difference does it make".