` `

False Claim That 22 Mil Undocumented Immigrants Received Benefits, Voted

Rebecca Bowen Rebecca Bowen
29th July 2021
False Claim That 22 Mil Undocumented Immigrants Received Benefits, Voted
Studies show cases of illegal voting are very low (Getty Images).

The Claim

22 million undocumented immigrants who live in the United States vote and receive benefits.

Emerging story

Since early 2019 the claim that 22 million illegal immigrants are living in the U.S. and voting has appeared. Recently resurfacing, and attached to an image of a large protest, responses to the claim range from “Disgusting!” to “Time for the running of the bulls. Get the water cannons ready.”

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Claims of 22 million illegal immigrants receiving government benefits and voting have no evidence. According to the National Immigration Law Center, undocumented immigrants are ineligible to receive most government benefits — including SNAP, better known as “food stamps,” Medicaid, SSI, TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), and ACA health care subsidies. All assistance from these programs requires proof of citizenship and a Social Security Number.

As for voting, 22 million illegal votes, in a hotly contested and heavily audited election, would certainly have been caught. Dr. Lorraine C. Minnite of Rutgers University, who has studied undocumented immigrant voting for a decade, has concluded that it does not occur in any great number. She found that in three years studying a Justice Department push to crack down on illegal voting that only 14 convictions took place. In 2007, The Brennan Center for Justice conducted an intensive survey that showed allegations of illegal voting are rampant while actual cases, after investigation, are very few. The state of New Mexico conducted a survey of their voting rolls to catch and convict illegal voters: only 9 voters were referred for review out of 1.2 million.

The only study that claims there is evidence of illegal voting was conducted by Jesse Richman in 2008. A subsequent study was conducted using Richman’s data, extrapolating further numbers which are often quoted when discussing voter fraud. In every peer-reviewed study a section titled “Limitations” exists. Richman notes that his original study does not support the data from the new study and one of the limitations of his research was his extremely small sample size and inaccuracies of self-reported data from his participants. 

So, while decades of research confirm extremely low levels of voter fraud by undocumented immigrants, only one study found evidence. And the study is not even fully supported by the researcher providing the data.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

Read More

Most Read