Joe Biden formally turned on a bill by Congress that would require people to register for federal elections through proof of U.S. citizenship.

A policy statement from the Biden administration said it “strongly opposes” the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act, which was introduced by Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) earlier this year and is expected to get a vote in the Republican-led House as early as this week, but did not mention the prospect of a veto.

“It is already illegal for noncitizens to vote in Federal elections — it is a Federal crime punishable by prison and fines. The alleged justification for this bill is based on easily disproven falsehoods,” the statement said. “Additionally, making a false claim of citizenship or unlawfully voting in an election is punishable by removal from the United States and a permanent bar to admission.”

The statement added, “States already have effective safeguards in place to verify voters’ eligibility and maintain the accuracy of voter rolls. This bill would do nothing to safeguard our elections, but it would make it much harder for all eligible Americans to register to vote and increase the risk that eligible voters are purged from voter rolls.”

Republicans argue the SAVE Act is needed to deal with the ongoing border crisis and restore election integrity, even as some municipalities across a few states and in Washington D.C. currently permit non-citizens to vote in local elections. The legislation also would require states to purge non-citizens from the rolls of voters for federal office “at any time upon receipt of documentation or verified information that a registrant is not a United States citizen.”

Roy tweeted Monday on X, “Federal law currently PROHIBITS states from verifying citizenship status during registration for federal elections,” Roy posted to X on Monday. “The SAVE Act requires proof of citizenship to register and would remove non-citizens from voter rolls. What are Democrats fearful of?  This is basic stuff, you would think …”

Some House Democrat leaders wanted their colleagues to vote against the bill on grounds that it would “stop Americans from registering to vote with just a drivers’ license” and force people obtain identification other than what is acceptable now, in stand alone form, via passport. They also said that the bill would create an “extreme burden for countless Americans” and “further intimidate election officials in addition to overburdening states’ abilities … when it comes to registering new voters.”

The bill to ensure election integrity comes after Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), released a report last month in support of the SAVE Act, noting that there is a National Voter Registration Act “loophole” which allows states not to verify proof of citizenship upon registering someone for federal elections but instead only requires individuals confirm they are citizens and eligible.

The statement by the Biden administration claimed that the “evidence is clear that the current laws to prevent noncitizen voting are working as intended — it is extraordinarily rare for noncitizens to break the law by voting in Federal elections.”