Fact Check: Rep. Ronny Jackson’s erroneous claim about unauthorized immigrant access to ballot, health care coverage

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Nusaiba Mizan, PolitiFact/Austin American-Statesman; radio interview produced by Alexandra HartFebruary 2, 2022 3:29 pm, , , ,

From PolitiFact Texas:

U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Amarillo, who is running for reelection in Texas’ 13th Congressional District, made a surprising claim regarding unauthorized immigrants on Twitter and garnered more than 6,000 replies.

Jackson tweeted on Jan. 16: “In 2022, illegal immigrants will have MORE FREEDOMS and easier access to healthcare and ballot boxes than most Americans… Just think about that.”

Jackson’s office did not respond to our calls and emails for Jackson’s source. So we went ahead and took a look at the two aspects of his claim: unauthorized immigrants’ access to the ballot and their access to health care.

Is it true immigrants living in the U.S. illegally have “more freedoms” and easier access to health care and the ballot box compared to most Americans?

No ballot access for unauthorized immigrants

Immigrants lacking legal authorization to live in the U.S. cannot vote in federal and state elections, said Matthew Weil, director of the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center’s Elections Project. The project explores and analyzes voter legislation to ultimately inform policy makers.

Almost all localities in the U.S., and all in Texas, limit elections to citizens. Even in the small handful of localities where non-citizens can vote in local elections, those localities only allow lawfully present noncitizens to vote…

Read the full story and see how Jackson’s claim scored at PolitiFact, and listen to an interview with PolitiFact’s Nusaiba Mizan in the audio player above.

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