Does Obama support illegal aliens voting in 2016?

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s critics pounced over the weekend after video surfaced in which the commander-in-chief purportedly told Gina Rodriguez, an actress and rapper, that there would be no problems if illegal immigrants vote in tomorrow’s presidential election.

A clip of the interview found its way onto Fox News host Neil Cavuto’s Coast to Coast program, with Cavuto condemning Obama’s answer:

Far-right sites including The Gateway Pundit, which has been featured prominently on the popular Drudge Report site and has staunchly defended the turbulent candidacy of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, interpreted Obama’s comments to mean that the president “openly called on illegal aliens to vote in Tuesday’s election” and “promised no repercussions.”

The president’s defenders have pointed to the full version of Rodriguez’s interview, which aired on the popular digital Latino network mitú. Sites such as claim that “it’s clear Obama is urging Latino citizens to vote in order to give voice to members of their community who are precluded from doing so by lack of citizenship, not urging non-citizens to vote illegally.”

Here is the full transcript:

RODRIGUEZ: Many of the millennials, Dreamers, undocumented citizens — and I call them citizens because they contribute to this country — are fearful of voting. So if I vote, will immigration know where I live? Will they come for my family and deport us?

OBAMA: Not true. And the reason is, first of all, when you vote, you are a citizen yourself. And there is not a situation where the voting rolls somehow are transferred over and people start investigating, et cetera. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential in terms of who you voted for. If you have a family member who maybe is undocumented, then you have an even greater reason to vote.

RODRIGUEZ: This has been a huge fear presented especially during this election.

OBAMA: And the reason that fear is promoted is because they don’t want people voting. People are discouraged from voting and part of what is important for Latino citizens is to make your voice heard, because you’re not just speaking for yourself. You’re speaking for family members, friends, classmates of yours in school…

RODRIGUEZ: Your entire community.

OBAMA: … Who may not have a voice. Who can’t legally vote. But they’re counting on you to make sure that you have the courage to make your voice heard.

The convoluted phrasing of the question may have contributed to the confusion, as Rodriguez herself was born in Chicago, and poses the question to the president first-person style yet also references “undocumented citizens.”

Rodriguez later defended herself on Twitter, arguing that her question related to whether citizens who vote should fear that by voting they could put their undocumented relatives at risk for deportation:

Others offered additional criticism:

The network itself insisted the interview was geared towards getting “young Latinx voters to turn up” at the polls Tuesday:

One thing, however, is clear — illegal aliens who do attempt to participate in Tuesday’s presidential election put themselves at risk of being slapped with criminal charges and being deemed “inadmissible.”

In 2006, a woman from the Philippines, staying in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa, participated in that year’s general election. Records from the proceedings held in an immigration court in Chicago show that in 2014, the woman faced a removal recommendation filed by the Department of Homeland Security, but successfully defended against it:

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