Immigration advocate, legal citizen gets Scott Gessler's non-citizen letter

Alan Kaplan.jpg
Alan Kaplan
In the final weeks of the campaign, as we reported earlier today, Secretary of State Scott Gessler has continued his controversial anti-fraud campaign by tracking down individuals he believes are illegally registered to vote, because they are immigrants. Gessler sent them letters to 300 people asking them to verify their citizenship -- and yesterday, we reached one legal citizen who got the letter and is not happy about it, in part because he himself has done advocacy work around voter participation.

Alan Kaplan, 35, has been a citizen since 2001. But since a database of the Department of Homeland Security has him listed as an immigrant, he is one of 441 registered voters in Colorado that Gessler's office believes are illegally registered and would therefore be committing fraud if they voted on November 6. The letters are part of a larger effort from Gessler's office to eliminate fraud, which includes crosschecks with a federal database that critics fear is unreliable.

Scott Gessler, food truck stop.jpeg
Sam Levin
Scott Gessler earlier this month.
Kaplan, who lives in Fort Collins, also works in immigration advocacy and has been involved in efforts to encourage voter participation. He was the former communications director of Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and now does consulting for immigrant rights groups.

"When I got this letter, it got me thinking...not about me per se, but about people like my grandmother, who I have to drag to vote every year," he says. "If she got a letter like this, it would not only stop her from voting this year, it would stop her from voting forever."

The letter can be seen in full below. It reads in part:

We have information indicating that you may not be a U. S. citizen and that you are registered to vote. In Colorado, only U.S. citizens can register to vote and vote. We are relying upon immigration information you previously gave to the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Revenue when you applied for or renewed your driver's license or state identification card. This information was later crosschecked with the United State Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Please complete and return the Colorado Secretary of State's office the enclosed "Admission or Denial of Non-U.S. Citizen" return form with thirty (30) days of receipt of this letter. You may return the form by mail, fax, or email, or you may return the form in person to the office. To the extent requested on the return form, include a copy of any document that either shows you are not the person identified in this letter, that you are a U.S. citizen, or that your immigration status has otherwise changed.

Signed by Gessler, the letter goes on to list forms of identification that would suffice, including a naturalization certificate or U.S. birth certificate. The letter was sent on October 3, although the Secretary of State's office announced results this week of their crosscheck with the Department of Homeland Security. The names of the flagged individuals were sent to county clerks across the state, but it's uncertain at this time how many could actually be challenged or removed from voter rolls in the final week-and-a-half before the election.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, which has been critical of Gessler connected us to Kaplan. And the ACLU is now working to help voters who received the letter but are citizens. And Kaplan's case seems to illustrate the argument of those who oppose Gessler's use of the database: It's not always up-to-date.

Kaplan is originally from Belarus, a part of the former Soviet Union. He tells us that he became a citizen in 2001 through what is called "derived citizenship," which means he was underage when his parents became citizens and thus could become a citizen himself through their actions.

When he went to get his driver's license at the DMV in 2010, he used his green card -- the identification he had at the time -- and decided to sign up to vote while he was there, which he was able to do, since he is a citizen and had been for many years.

But because he used a green card, he shows up in the federal immigration system as a non-citizen. He received a letter over the summer in Gessler's first round of notifications and again this month, after the Department of Homeland Security crosscheck.

The ACLU and other voter advocacy groups say this kind of story could be quite common, since there a wide range of scenarios in which the SAVE database would not have the most recent information. Given his background in immigration advocacy, Kaplan says it's obvious to him that there are situations where an immigrant may become a citizen but it wouldn't be recorded in SAVE or may take time to be updated.

"It's fraught with errors," he says.

Continue for response from Gessler and the full letter that Kaplan received.

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DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Repuglycan Amerikkka = the land of bigotry and hatred




California is a Sanctuary State for illegal aliens, shielded by a Liberal Governor Jerry Brown, and a near Socialist Sacramento assembly, that have an outrageous nerve to ask for more money for education. The school system is drowned in illegal alien children, which are forced on the taxpayers by the courts in uncompensated financial requirements. A state measure 30, a so called temporary tax to fund schools and 38 which is another measure for even extra funding for schools to employ thousands of more teachers is a ridiculous burden.  This is the never ending cycle when California voters are being scammed to empty their pocket books.  This is just another travesty of an educational system broken, as more of the taxpayer’s money is just be absorbed to pay for the overcrowded schools, but not just in California, but across the 50 states to pay for the education of illegal alien children. Just go into the schools in Los Angeles, and half the staff in the office is bilingual and the classrooms are overloaded with kids who can hardly comprehend English. It surprised me before I left California that the school my son was in, that an American flag was even flying?


Californians or come to that, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico in the Southwest need more tax money, but the issue is it just attracts illegal migrant and immigrant females in smuggling a large majority of unborn babies across borders or on international flights. The American federation of Immigration Reform (FAIR) in a report estimates that over 400.000 babies are smuggled into America annually through this method. All those children receive free delivery and as they are credited with immediate citizenship, the parent or parents are able to settle here for good. This is a carefully orchestrated situation that the politicians say little about, as they have already been coerced by the migrant organizations as the radical La Raza.  The smuggling of the unborn is the origination of the children of the Dream Act. Hundreds of billions of dollars are needed every year, because the parents recognize the more children they conceive, the more difficult it is to deport them. Then even should the parents leave the child is still a holder of a U.S. passport and can return at a later date.


 At the age of 18 they can their sponsor the parents, as then they are supposedly are able to financially support them.  In most cases this is seldom happens in perpetuity, for then the parents are then catered to by the U.S. government after the sponsors no longer keeps them financially stable. Now enter--“THE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP ACT, which will eliminate these entries, so at least one parent must have valid citizenship, for the child to gain citizenship. This would be very financially beneficial to U.S. taxpayers that would halt this activity, and would save over 100 billion dollars a year. This law will bring to halt illegal aliens bringing their children here to take advantage of our health services, educational system and many more free programs with cash benefits. Our borders still remain wide open in many places, including Canada for the illegal importation of drugs and people. For the record an estimate of a million legal immigrants are admitted to this nation each year, but we should recognize in this global market we should allow a steady stream of the paramount top list of Scientists, Technology, Engineering and mathematicians (STEM WORKERS) who would be highly beneficial to Americas future. What we don’t need are more people with no qualification, no education and adding to our own people who live in poverty.


Under another Obama 4 year administration is a promise to the 20 million plus illegal aliens a Path to Citizenship. So not only illegal aliens will be tempted to vote for the man, but many will and Democrats will intentionally stay oblivious. The cost according to the Heritage Foundation is well over TWO TRILLION DOLLARS to complete the process, which includes Social Security, Supplementary Social Security, retirement, pensions, health care, education and other different financial programs; much of it paid for by taxpayers. At a working age, American citizens begin paying for their retirement, having paid into these systems, but illegal migrants and immigrants in the majority have not? In fact they are even fraudulently using their children to collect 4.6 Billion dollars in child credits, which this government and probably the previous ones don’t think it’s worth prosecuting?


Adding further to restrictions THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT (E-Verify) should also be implemented, so businesses and the agricultural industry can no longer just hire illegal workers without penal implications and harsh fines. As we need temporary workers, then a fully regulated system should be installed as it was with the 1940’s “Bracero” Program. This worked well, but greedy politicians in collusion with the business community closed it down. Now we have a corrupt system that has been highlighted by many companies being raided by ICE and the owners punished. So getting back to the California state voting measures and probably in other states, illegal immigration is a very expensive situation, which needs a solution? But it’s not being continually taxed to pay for the illegal entry of illegal aliens and their children. Honest immigrants wait years to get an entry visa, while the other types get rewarded by Washington and individual states with a cornucopia of free welfare programs. The Legal Workforce bill could drive illegal alien’s home, as if they cannot be hired, then they will leave. Instead of listening to my personal suggestions, go to TEA PARTY.ORG, NumbersUSA and and you can judge the absolute financial negative effects of illegal immigration.



Boy, this is a stretch.  This Kaplan character claims to have become a citizen in 2001 but in 2010 his only ID is a green card that shows he is not a citizen.  


Is INS really that slow to provide new citizens with proper ID?  



RobertChase topcommenter

Priceless!  Consider the situation from the SoS' point of view:  if you don't send out intimidating letters, you can't dissuade any Democrats from voting; if you do, there will be some percentage who won't vote -- sure, you'll hit the occasional immigration advocate, but most recipients will not be so savvy.

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