President Obama is getting loads of buzz for the below video, with folks on either side of the divide disseminating Mr. Obama’s answers to a confusing question as they see fit. With Election Day only hours away, some folks are freaking out — spreading the rumors that President Obama told illegal, undocumented citizens to vote without fear of reprisals.
As seen in the above video, which has made the rounds — especially on conservative websites — actress Gina Rodriguez spoke to President Obama about a plethora of issues. One of those issues was voting, with Snopes reporting that many of Mr. Obama’s answers were edited and left out of the viral videos. The manner in which President Obama’s answers were edited made it appear as if Mr. Obama was encouraging undocumented immigrants to vote illegally, without fear of getting in trouble.
The Snopes article has been shared more than 9,000 times on social media thus far. It calls foul on the doctored exchange between the duo — calling claims from conservatives that President Obama urged illegal aliens to get out and vote a big false notion.
The video snippets begin with Rodriguez asking Mr. Obama about a bunch of different people — including folks her age, “dreamers” and illegal aliens — and grouping them all as citizens, purportedly. Next, Gina asked the president if people who were fearing that they would be deported if they voted as an undocumented citizen should truly have those fears.
“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?”
The full video exchange below between Gina and President Obama can be seen in its entirety.
President Obama’s answer seemed to encapsulate the fact that Mr. Obama was speaking about urging minority voters who were legal citizens, perhaps, to go ahead and vote — so that they could make the country a better place for the undocumented family members who couldn’t vote.
However, some view Mr. Obama’s answer as carte blanche for all illegal citizens to go ahead and vote, since the vote is confidential — and no one would be deported if they voted as an undocumented person. Others claim that Mr. Obama made it clear that you have to be a citizen in order to vote — and that people can only vote if they enjoy the legal means to vote legally.
“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.”
That hasn’t stopped folks from writing headlines like “Sessions Blasts Obama for Illegal Voting Comments” and “Cavuto stunned as Obama prods illegals to VOTE on national TV: It’s secret, they can’t catch you,” as did Biz Pac Review.
Digging into President Obama’s comments seems to make it clearer that Mr. Obama was initially speaking of a time — as was Gina — when folks who enjoyed the right to vote were denied their legal right to vote as U.S. citizens, because of racism. Instead of encouraging illegal voting, it appears that President Obama was speaking about Latino citizens not fearing reprisals for voting legally as they wished.
“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… 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. When you vote you are a citizen. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential.”
[Featured Image by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]