Newly Naturalized Texas Citizens Can No Longer Be Targeted by Government for Purging

woman holding I Voted sticker

CLC and partners reached a final settlement agreement with the state of Texas, ending Secretary of State David Whitley’s flawed voter purge program, which targeted naturalized citizens and threatened the voting rights of tens of thousands of Texans. The agreement is legally binding and will prevent the government form targeting naturalized U.S. citizens for potential criminal investigation and removal from the voting lists based on old data.

The Secretary of State has agreed to abandon his election advisory that led to false allegations of widespread noncitizen voter fraud. Whitley’s claims were echoed across Texas by Attorney General Ken Paxton, Governor Greg Abbott, and even nationally by President Donald Trump, who amplified the false claims on Twitter. The list of 95,000 registered voters generated by Secretary Whitley was largely comprised of Texans like Julie Hilberg, a naturalized citizen that registered to vote after becoming a citizen in 2015. The citizenship review was proven to be a clumsy exercise that Whitley’s office was ultimately forced to walk back after embarrassing errors were revealed by voting rights advocates and Texas media outlets.

This is a great day for Texas voters, who can now feel reassured that they will not be subject to discrimination as a result of voter roll purges.

Read the personal story of CLC’s plaintiff Julie Hilberg: [I’ve Been a U.S. Citizen Since 2015. My State is Threatening to Purge Me From the Rolls]

Corey handles media relations for the CLC voting rights and redistricting teams and creates online content. Follow @cgfromdc on Twitter