Kenyan Citizen in the U.S. Ordered Deported for Unlawfully Voting in U.S. Elections
A Kenyan citizen in the United States has lost his appeal against deportation back to Kenya after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Court upheld an immigration judge’s decision to have him deported.
Anthony Kimani was ordered deported after immigration officials found out that he had violated Section 611(a) of the U.S. constitution by voting in the 2004 federal elections before becoming a permanent resident. Kimani entered the U.S. on a visitor’s visa in 2000. He remained in the country after the expiry of his visa, and three years after the visa expiry, he married a U.S. citizen who petitioned for permanent residency (green card) on his behalf. However, immigration officials working on the petition discovered he registered to vote in 2003 and voted in the 2004 federal elections. In order to register and vote, immigration officials said Kimani presented himself as a U.S. citizen.
Section 611(a) states that it is unlawful for any alien to vote for a U.S. President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the district of the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner.
An alien who votes in an election violates 18 U.S.C. §611, and 8 U.S.C. §1182(a)(10)(D)(i) adds that “[a]ny alien who has voted in violation of any Federal, State, or local constitutional provision, statute, ordinance, or regulation is inadmissible.” An inadmissible alien is ineligible for adjustment of status on the basis of a citizen spouse’s petition. 8 U.S.C. §1255(a)(2). An immigration judge therefore denied Kimani’s petition and ordered his removal from the United States; the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed.
The complete rulling can be found here.