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Page 1: Fitzpatrickruling


Number of Pages:5

Date Created:February 10, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 15, 2017

Tags:register, Keathley, English, Fitzpatrick, Fitzgerald, Holder, Easterbrook, aliens, Elections, Voting, Appeals, Homeland, officials, official, immigration, illinois, Circuit, security, federal, department, states, united, Judge

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United States Court Appeals
For the Seventh Circuit
Nos. 15- 2204 16- 1864
JEFF SESSIONS, Attorney General the United States,
Petitions for Review Orders the
Board Immigration Appeals.
No. A097 846 616
Before EASTERBROOK, WILLIAMS, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge. Margarita Del Pilar Fitzpat-
rick, citizen Peru, had lived the United States for three
years when she applied for driver license Illinois. She
contends that when filling out the forms the Department Motor Vehicles she displayed her green card and her Pe-
ruvian passport but she admits that she also checked box
claiming citizen the United States. The form sternly
warns aliens not check that box, and Fitzpatrick does not
Nos. 15- 2204 16- 1864
contend that she has any difficulty understanding written
English. (She came the United States 2002 study Eng-
lish college, and after earning certificate medical
translator she spent some time working interpreter be-
fore training nurse.) required the motor- voter law, U.S.C. 20503 06, the form also contained checkbox
that would lead registration voter. Fitzpatrick main-
tains that the desk clerk asked whether she wanted regis-
ter, and when she inquired supposed to? replied: you. She checked that box, was duly registered,
and 2006 twice voted elections for federal officials.
Aliens are forbidden vote federal elections. U.S.C.
611. Another statute, U.S.C. 1227(a)(6), provides for the
removal aliens who vote violation either state fed-
eral law. After discovering that Fitzpatrick had voted
federal election, the Department Homeland Security initi-
ated removal proceedings. Immigration Judge and then
the Board Immigration Appeals (initially and when deny-
ing reconsideration) decided that she must indeed leave the
United States, even though she has led productive and
otherwise- unblemished life this country, married
U.S. citizen, and has three U.S.- citizen children. Her children
were born Peru and naturalized after arrival. Her own
2007 application for citizenship what brought her 2006
voting light, when response questions asked all ap-
plicants she honestly described her voting history.
Fitzpatrick acknowledges that she voted apparent vio-
lation 611, which does not require proof that the alien
knew that only citizens can vote federal elections. See Ki-
mani Holder, 695 F.3d 666 (7th Cir. 2012). Nonetheless, she
contends, she did not actually violate 611, because she had
Nos. 15- 2204 16- 1864
official approval act she did. Her lawyer calls this the
entrapment estoppel defense; suggested Keathley Holder, 696 F.3d 644 (7th Cir. 2012), that better label
would official authorization. But names don matter.
The defense available someone who makes complete
and accurate representations public official and then re-
ceives permission from that official, when acting within the
scope his her authority. (We observed Keathley that
high school principal can permit aliens vote, but that
voting officials may have least apparent authority
so.) Fitzpatrick cannot make out either ingredient this de-
First, she did not make accurate disclosures when apply-
ing. She checked the box claiming U.S. citizenship. She lit-
erate English and has excuse for making that misrepre-
sentation. observed Kimani, statements such
didn read the form carefully didn think this
through before acting didn understand the legal sig-
nificance what was doing may explanations, but
they are not excuses.
Second, one told her that aliens are entitled vote.
Indeed, one told her that aliens are entitled register
vote. clerk asked whether she wanted register and add- you. That statement apparently following
script that Illinois then required clerical officials use was refusal give advice, not assurance that was lawful register. Federal law forbids state officials say anything
that will discourage applicant for driver license from
registering vote. U.S.C. 20506(a)(5)(C). This statute
leads unhelpful responses such the one Fitzpatrick re-
ceived. What happened Fitzpatrick and other aliens such
Nos. 15- 2204 16- 1864 Keathley has led Illinois Secretary State revise the
department Field Operations Manual require clerks
remind applicants that citizenship essential voting, but
the omission that advice 2005 still left Fitzpatrick with
noncommittal answer.
What more, even the clerk had assured Fitzpatrick (as did not) that she was entitled register, that assurance
differs from authorization vote. Because different units
government have different requirements for voting, may proper for aliens register even though they must take
care not vote elections for certain offices. Fitzpatrick
had time after receiving her voter- registration card deter-
mine which elections she could participate in. Even curso- search would have turned the rule against alien
voting federal election just cursory search would
have revealed that person registered Illinois cannot vote
for Governor Indiana. Registration vote simply does
not imply authorization vote any election one chooses.
Fitzpatrick well educated and understands English;
not too much ask that she find out before voting whether alien can cast ballot federal election. States may
deem wise inform all who register about the require-
ments for voting particular elections, but failure pro-
vide that advice does not amount official authorization for
aliens vote all elections.
The panel inquired oral argument whether Fitzpatrick the kind person the Attorney General and the Depart-
ment Homeland Security want removed from the United
States. The answer was yes that consideration had been
given exercising prosecutorial discretion Fitzpatrick
favor, but that the possibility had been resolved adversely
Nos. 15- 2204 16- 1864
her. That decision entrusted executive officials, leaving option other than deny the petitions for review
the BIA decisions.