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'Motor Voter' Error Could Trigger Deportation

February 22, 2014 (1 min read)

"With her fiancée visa in hand, Elizabeth Keathley moved to Bloomington from her native Philippines in 2003.  She quickly went about organizing the details of her new life in Illinois, including getting her driver’s license.  At the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles she was asked if she wanted to be an organ donor.  She said yes.  She was asked if she wanted to register to vote.  She said yes.  After she received her voter registration card in the mail, Keathley voted in a congressional election.  She didn’t know that as a new immigrant to the United States she couldn’t vote, nor did her U.S.-born husband, John, she said.  It wasn’t until Keathley filled out citizenship papers years later that immigration officials caught the mistake. Today, Keathley, who is seven months pregnant, faces deportation for voting — specifically, claiming to be a citizen.  The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted her lawyer’s request to review the case and ordered an immigration judge to hear it again this summer." - María Inés Zamudio, Chicago Reporter, Feb. 21, 2014.