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Lewis Morris / May 6, 2021

Illegals Change House Apportionment

Counting illegal aliens dilutes the representation of American citizens in Congress.

The upcoming congressional reapportionment is doing a major disservice to American citizens. This has been true in the past, but in 2020 the lopsided population gains in our quadrennial counting are vividly evident.

We reported last week how the 2020 census count illustrated a population shift in the country that negates the Democrats’ vision of a lasting majority in the House of Representatives. Six states gained seats, seven lost, and the rest of the nation experienced a noticeable shift of people from Democrat strongholds.

The census numbers, however, are not an accurate count or an accurate representation of American citizens. Consequently, congressional reapportionment looks a lot different than it should, and tens of millions of American citizens are getting shortchanged in their congressional representation.

In Joe Biden’s first day in office, he signed an executive order reversing Donald Trump’s executive order of July 2020 banning the inclusion of illegal aliens in the 2020 census for the purposes of apportionment. Trump said at the time, “My administration will not support giving congressional representation to aliens who enter or remain in the country unlawfully because doing so would create perverse incentives and undermine our system of government. … This is all part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of American citizens, and I will not stand for it.”

Trump’s order was the right thing to do. So, predictably, it was taken to court.

A panel of federal judges in New York blocked the order in September, ruling that illegal immigrants are persons who can be legitimately counted in the census. Any hope for a reprieve melted away in December when the Supreme Court issued an unsigned opinion refusing to hear the case. By this point, Trump’s presidency was coming to a very rough conclusion, and the justices most likely wanted to steer wide of the wreckage. Of course, they stated a more indirect reason, admitting only that it was “premature” to rule on the case because it was “riddled with contingencies and speculation.”

Ultimately, at least some portion of illegal aliens were counted in the 2020 census, and they are being factored into the reapportionment of congressional seats. Never mind that they have no right to representation in Congress, or that they are barred by law from voting. And never mind that their presence in the apportionment dilutes the votes of actual citizens.

The congressional reapportionment would look a lot different if illegal aliens had not been counted in 2020. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, California would have lost three seats, not just one, while Texas would have lost two instead of gaining two. Florida, New Jersey, and New York would have lost one each. Alabama, Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia would each gain a seat.

This lopsided congressional apportionment does not represent the citizenry of the republic. Keep in mind, had Trump remained in office, this may not have happened. It’s more likely the Supreme Court would have heard the case and ruled appropriately. But that’s not what happened. Now we have to deal with the consequences.


Correction: Due to an editing error, we said Texas gained one seat, when it in fact gained two.

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