Rev. David Boase,69, of Illinois may face deportation to his native England because immigration authorities discovered that he had voted illegally in an election. Boase is a priest of the Episcopal Church and a legal permanent resident of the United States and remains a national of the United Kingdom. He claims that a state employee asked him in 2005 if he wanted to register to vote, even though he used a British passport when applying for a driver’s license.
Boase has received a letter from immigration authorities that have placed him in removal proceedings.
Boase claims that he mistakenly voted 12 years ago. He admitted to this during the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship. However, his attorney will ask an immigration judge on September 28 in Kansas City to allow him to voluntarily deport himself. This will possibly allow him to return one day to the United States. Non-voluntary deportation can result in being from the U.S. for 10 years. Boase moved to the U.S. in 2004 and became the pastor of St. Paul Episcopal Church in Alton, Illinois.
Boase claims that a supervisor at an office of Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles did not ask whether he was a U.S. citizen. He also claims that he did not know that only citizens could vote. But after a parishioner explained the law to him, he never voted again.
Parishioners and other supporters of Boase have asked Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin for help. However, Boase is getting ready to leave and has put his condo in Godfrey, Ilinois, up for sale. He has expressed concern over the high cost of housing in England. He will likely return to York, in northern England, where he once lived. He has expressed appreciation for the support he has received from people living in the U.S.
“I have to leave America — my home, my church and my friends. I’ve been here 14 years. My life is here. It is going to wreck my life. I am so happy here, in the parish, in the community and the area. It is a mess," he told The Telegraph newspaper of Illinois. A GoFundMe account has been established to defray the costs of his legal counsel.