As our liberal betters in the media regularly inform us, voter ID laws are not only racist but unnecessary because voter fraud is too rare to bother worrying about. Tell that to Gustavo Araujo Lerma (a.ka. Hiram Enrique Velez) of Sacramento California. He’ll have plenty of time to ponder the subject while he spends the next three years in prison after his conviction for stealing the identity of an American citizen and voting in federal elections. Yes, “elections” is plural because Lerma managed to pull off the feat at least five times and possibly as many as twenty. (CBS Sacramento)
A Mexican national convicted of assuming an American’s identity to vote in five federal elections has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison.
Gustavo Araujo Lerma was found guilty back in August of aggravated identity theft, making a false statement on a passport application and five counts of voting by an alien in federal elections from 2012 through 2016.
Lerma, who is 64-years-old, claimed he’s an American named Hiram Enrique Velez.
Lerma was convicted back in August, but sentencing was postponed until this week. And just to show that this is (or should be) a bipartisan issue, he claims to be a Trump supporter and has donated to Republican candidates in the past. (For what it’s worth, I found no records of donations under either of his names at Open Secrets.)
The usual critics can look at this case and scoff, saying that it’s only one guy. But before anyone jumps to that conclusion, let’s consider how Lerma managed to get away with this, allegedly for twenty years. He purchased a birth certificate and Social Security card in 1992, allowing the illegal alien to live and work in the country for nearly thirty years.
Does that story sound familiar? It should. You may recall the series of sweeping immigration raids conducted by ICE over the summer at several food processing plants in Mississippi. Nearly 700 illegal aliens were discovered working at those facilities. During congressional field hearings that followed, we learned that more than 400 of them had stolen American identification papers. How many of them voted?
We’ll likely never know, but they could obviously get away with it if they wished to. Gustavo Araujo Lerma didn’t seem to have much trouble. And why not? The system isn’t designed to question the legitimacy of the voter. It only cares that the name being given is that of a qualified citizen.
And those raids took place in only a handful of counties in a single state. Pew Research estimates that there are currently 7.6 million illegal aliens employed in the United States. (That number has actually been dropping a bit over the past few years, reaching levels not seen since 2004.) Further, they estimate that 66% of them have been in the country for more than ten years.
Going by those figures, Gustavo Araujo Lerma is actually fairly typical of the illegal aliens living and working in America today. Do you really believe that out of the millions and millions of illegals in the country he was the only one who decided to start voting? And that’s one of the major problems we’re confronted with when dealing with voter fraud. We don’t have a handle on how common it actually is because we don’t expend all that much effort looking for it.
Accessing information on the fake ID documents used by illegal aliens is difficult because of privacy concerns regarding the people whose identities were stolen. But this is something that the state or federal government could look into if they wanted to devote the necessary resources. A good place to start might be those raids in Mississippi. If someone could compile a list of all the fake names that were used and then compare them to the local voter rolls, who knows what we might find?