Why Should States That Protect Illegal Aliens Be Rewarded With More Political Power?

Article subtitle: 
Alabama has filed an unprecedented but little-noticed lawsuit against the U.S. Census Bureau.
Article author: 
Hans A. von Spakovsky
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
16 March 2019
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

Aabama has filed an unprecedented but little-noticed lawsuit against the U.S. Census Bureau. If the state wins, it could have major political ramifications and restore fundamental fairness in political representation in Congress.

Alabama is arguing that by including illegal [alien] immigrants in its count of the population, the Census Bureau deprives the state – and other states with low numbers of illegal immigrants – of representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as votes in the Electoral College that determine who is elected president.

Conversely, the lawsuit argues, the practice of counting illegal immigrants in the census gives states that protect them (California, for example) seats and votes they are not entitled to have.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides that representatives in the House “shall be apportioned among the several States … according to their respective Numbers,” with the “Numbers” determined by “counting the whole number of persons in each State.”

After every census, House seats are reapportioned according to the population of each state. Electoral College votes are reapportioned according to the number of each state’s congressional representatives.

Alabama is right about the unfairness of the current system. Illegal immigrants, by definition, have no right to be in this country. It is unjust to allow states to gain a political advantage over other states by flouting federal immigration law...

Alabama claims that including illegal immigrants in the 2020 Census will likely cause it to lose a congressional seat and an Electoral College vote...

This redistribution of political power “disincentivizes states with large illegal alien populations from cooperating with federal immigration authorities (lest they lose political power that comes with additional representatives and votes in the Electoral College),” Alabama argues.

Moreover, including illegal immigrants in the census “punishes states who (sic) do cooperate with federal immigration authorities in the identification and removal” of illegal aliens, Alabama’s lawsuit states....

In 2015 the Supreme Court held that states could use total population numbers – which includes illegal immigrants – in drawing the boundaries of legislative districts. But that case was about redistricting, not apportionment.

Does Alabama have a case? That will largely depend on whether it can convince the Supreme Court that its understanding of the historical definition of “persons” in the apportionment clause of the Constitution is correct. This is not an issue the Court has addressed before....


2020 Census: Should non-citizens be allowed to elect who governs us, by Taylor Day, American Thinker, February 16, 2019.