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Voter Registration: A Trap for Green Card Holders

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on May 11, 2012

It happens more often than you might think and something to watch out for during this election year – a permanent residents name somehow appears on a voter registration list, and then he is denied citizenship and sometimes even deported.

This scenario can easily take place when the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles, as required by the federal motor-voter law, offers a voter registration form to a green card holder applying for a drivers license. Incredibly, there is no provision in the law to protect the applicant if they supply a green card or foreign passport as identification either.

The fact is that the federal law prohibits motor vehicle registration agencies from asking about citizenship or discriminating in any way based on citizenship. So the applicant, sometimes a foreign language speaker, often winds up signing just one more form that he thought was associated with getting a drivers license.

This act, however, does not necessarily have to kill a pending citizenship application. A green card holder can take proper steps to have his name removed from voter registration rolls and can then demonstrate to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by affidavits of proof that the registration was made in error.

If you have applied for citizenship or intend to apply for citizenship and want help processing your application, do not hesitate to call our offices for an appointment to visit with a qualified attorney at (847) 564-0712. Feel free to check out our immigration law Website for more information as well.