House G.O.P. Moves to Crack Down on Noncitizen Voting, Sowing False Narrative

Republicans are using their majority in Congress to reinforce former President Donald J. Trump’s false claims of widespread illegal voting by noncitizens, sowing the seeds of an effort to delegitimize the outcome of the 2024 election if Mr. Trump loses by pushing legislation that purports to crack down on a problem that barely exists.

House Republicans have introduced a series of bills to take aim at voting by noncitizens, which is already a felony in federal elections, where those who study the issue say it almost never occurs.

This week, they are planning to push through a bill that would roll back a District of Columbia law allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections, which they contend is needed to prevent Democrats from expanding the practice to other jurisdictions. And Republicans are advancing another measure that would require states to obtain proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport, when registering a person to vote.

The legislation has virtually no chance of becoming law, but it serves to amplify one of Mr. Trump’s favorite pre-emptive claims of election fraud. It also underscores Republicans’ embrace of a groundless narrative — one that echoes the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory — that Democrats are intentionally allowing migrants to stream into the United States illegally in order to dilute the voting power of American citizens and lock in electoral victories for themselves.

Speaker Mike Johnson recently appeared alongside Mr. Trump at Mar-a-Lago, the former president’s Florida resort and residence, to announce a pledge to get tough on migrants flowing across the border, suggesting with no evidence that they were coming in unchecked as part of a plot to vote for President Biden.

“There is currently an unprecedented and a clear and present danger to the integrity of our election system — and that is the threat of noncitizens and illegal aliens voting in our elections,” Mr. Johnson warned during a news conference on the steps of the Capitol this month.

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