Former New York mayor bragged about ‘dirty trick’ he used to stop non-citizens from voting in his 1993 election
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani bragged about keeping illegal immigrants out of polling places during his 1993 campaign, explaining the technically legal but “dirtyVoter suppression trick to fellow Trump supporters during his YouTube show America’s Mayor Live on Tuesday.
“They came through East Harlem, which is all Hispanic, and they gave out little cards, and the card said, ‘If you’re coming to vote, make sure you have your green card because [Immigration and Naturalization Services] pick up illegal immigrants. So they spread it all over the Hispanic [area]”, explained the Republican lawyer.
The illegal immigrants apparently stayed home, not wanting to be stopped by immigration authorities, and Giuliani beat incumbent David Dinkins by 53,000 votes. “And that’s how we limited the Hispanic vote!” he exclaimed. Invited by the governor of Arizona, Kari Lake, he specified that he meant “Hispanic Illegal Voting.”
The mayor’s questionable campaign tactics caught the attention of then-Attorney General Janet Reno, who launched an investigation into Giuliani’s campaign in 1993, saying she had “violated civil rights”.
“What civil rights have we violated? They have no civil rights! Giuliani exclaimed as he told the story, pointing out, “All we’ve done is prevent people who can’t vote from voting. Maybe we deceived them, but deceiving is not a crime.
The then Justice Department issued a statement warning voters that the Giuliani INS campaign posters that were hiding in the ballot boxes were fake. The statement reassured New Yorkers that federal observers were on hand to “protect the rights of minority voters”, not to check their papers.
Dinkins, who had previously narrowly edged Giuliani to win by two percentage points in 1989, accused the victorious Republican of betting “an outrageous campaign of voter intimidation and low blows” after conceding, but could not prove any wrongdoing.
About 800,000 noncitizen New York residents were briefly granted the right to vote in local elections last year for the first time, though the state Supreme Court struck down that law in June. Democrats and Republicans continue to battle over voter ID requirements, and New York Governor Kathy Hochul passed a law in June barring local officials from unilaterally enacting voting restrictions.
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