Claim: The Democrats want to resettle Afghan refugees to the U.S. in order to help their party win the next election.
Rating: This claim is FALSE. The main requirement for casting a ballot is that voters are U.S. citizens. There are many severe punishments for non-citizens who vote, including deportation, jail time, and fines, which deter non-citizens from engaging in voter fraud.
False claims stating that the Democrats are plotting to rig the next U.S. election have been circulating online and are widespread within the Vietnamese community. The myth that the Democrats are attempting to resettle Afghan refugees, following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, in order to rig future U.S. elections has become particularly widespread.
Yet this new voter fraud myth is part of a long-running misinformation campaign to sow doubt in the integrity of American elections.
As early as February 2019, false claims about voter fraud started to appear on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Most notably, a Facebook post prior to the 2020 election claimed that 22 million people not only live in the U.S. illegally but were also voting unlawfully, which led to false claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
Using the same tactic, many conspiracy theorists are now claiming that the next election will be “stolen” because the Democrats will attempt to use Afghan refugees to cast votes illegally. In fact, Nguy Vu of The King Radio on Aug. 21 claimed that the Democrats are “bringing a lot of people, a lot of illegal people, from Afghanistan to the U.S. This is all a part of Biden’s strategy.”
Yet Nguy Vu failed to supplement his statement with a source for his statement. The King Radio has since been removed from YouTube for spreading misinformation, though Nguy Vu is still trying to return to the platform.
Nguy Vu’s claims show a lack of understanding of how voting works in the U.S. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 is a federal law that prohibited non-citizens from voting in federal elections, with punishments including fines, jail time, and deportation.
Furthermore, when non-citizens violate voting laws, they face a number of different criminal charges.
Considering the severity of the punishments of any violations of voting laws, it is difficult to believe that the Democrats will be able to settle millions of Afghan refugees and use their votes to win the next election.
In addition, U.S. immigration law states that immigrants must be a permanent resident for at least five years before they can apply for citizenship. So it is highly unlikely that Biden’s administration can resettle enough Afghan refugees in time for them to be granted citizenship and vote in the 2024 presidential election.
Additionally, there is much evidence that there was no voter fraud in the 2020 Election. Former president Donald J. Trump and his team filed a total of 62 lawsuits suggesting that the election was “rigged” in 2020. Those lawsuits were denied 61 times. This shows that nonpartisan organizations, such as state and federal courts, agreed that no voter fraud occurred in the 2020 Election.
It is clear that any allegation of voter fraud is an attempt to undermine public faith in American elections, and to encourage the passage of more laws that make it more difficult to vote. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, which advocates for safeguarding American democracy, in 2021, 19 states have passed 33 laws making it more difficult for citizens to vote. For instance, in Georgia and Florida, it is now illegal to hand out food and water for people waiting in line to vote, even though the lines to vote can sometimes take hours. Four states also passed laws to limit drop-off boxes for mail-in ballots.