by Dan Gibson
If you're friends with the rabidly conservative sort on Facebook (still love you guys, even though you're wrong about nearly everything!), you're probably already hearing the idea that Obama is going to stack the election by making a bunch of undocumented residents into citizens so they'll vote for him, ensuring that our nation continues its descent into socialism.
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) believes he's uncovered President Obama's secret plan to win next fall's presidential election: Grant citizenship to millions of undocumented residents with the expectation that they'll check his name at the ballot box come 2012. He's not alone; Rep. Louie Gohmert floated a similar conspiracy theory last week, telling Fox News that Obama would attempt to steal the election through some combination of massive voter fraud and blanket amnesty.
Turns out, if that's the plan, Obama might want to get to actually making more people citizens:
As Salzman notes, undocumented immigrants can't be moved through the citizenship process, because a prerequisite of applying for citizenship is that you have to be living here legally. The number of fee waivers that have been granted have increased, but again, there's no way to grant a fee waiver to someone who isn't a lawful resident so that's kind of moot; the change is due to the fact that there wasn't previously an easy way to apply. And most crucially, there hasn't actually been an increase in the number of naturalized citizens:
The increased number of fee waivers does not translate into more people actually becoming U.S. citizens with voting rights. The total number of people who went through the naturalization process has decreased during the Obama Administration (about 676,000 in FY 2010, about 744,000 in FY 2009, about 1,047,000 in FY 2008, 660,000 in FY 2007, and 702,000 in FY 2006), according to [United States Citizenship and Immigration Services] data.
Still, why let pesky facts get in the way of a conspiracy theory?