Illegal immigration is insidious in more ways than one. Pundits tend to focus on the impact they have on local communities. What no one talks about is the ramifications these diasporas have on our federal elections and the way politicians pander to non-citizens who have garnered as much representation in the halls of Congress as an American citizen.
The Center for Immigration Studies published a report demonstrating the influence illegal aliens and legal non-citizens have in the distribution of congressional districts and ultimately deciding presidential elections via the Electoral College. Here is an excerpt:
Non-citizens Have Large Impact. Immigration has a significant effect on the distribution of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives for three reasons. First, seats are apportioned based on each state's total population relative to the rest of the country, including illegal aliens and other non-citizens. This, of course, is the issue at the center of Congresswomen Miller's proposal. Second, congress has chosen to allow in a large number of legal immigrants and to tolerate wide spread illegal immigration. After the 2000 Census, the average congressional district had roughly 650,000 people. Thus, the more than 18 million non-citizens in the 2000 Census were equal to nearly 29 congressional seats. The third reason is that non-citizens are not evenly distributed throughout the country. In 2000, half of all non-citizens lived in just three states and almost 70 percent live in just six states. States with a large non-citizen population will gain at the expense of states comprised mostly of citizens.
Impact of Non-Citizens on Apportionment. In a report entitled, "Remaking the Political Landscape: The Impact of Illegal and Legal Immigration on Congressional Apportionment," published by the Center for Immigration Studies in October of 2003, we calculated the impact of non-citizens on the distribution of seats in the House.5 Overall we found that the presence of non-citizens caused a total of nine seats to change hands. Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin each lost a seat that they had prior to the 2000 Census while Montana, Kentucky and Utah each failed to gain a seat they other wise would have gained, but for the presences non-citizens in other states. Of the nine seats redistributed by non-citizens, 6 went to California, while Texas, New York and Florida each gained a seat and New York retained a seat it otherwise would have lost. Analysis of this kind is very straightforward, involving a simple calculation of the apportionment of seats to states with non-citizens included and then without them. Other researchers have come to the same conclusion.6
Impact of Illegal Aliens. In our 2003 apportionment study we also tried to estimate the impact of illegal aliens by themselves. The former INS has estimated the size and state distribution of illegals who responded to the Census, and we used those figures to estimate their impact on the distribution of House seats. We found that of the nine states that lost seats due to non-citizens, four were the result of illegals. This makes perfect sense because 40 to 45 percent of non-citizens are illegal aliens. Indiana, Michigan, and Mississippi each lost one seat in the House and Montana failed to gain a seat it otherwise would have gained because of illegal aliens in other states.
Impact on Electoral College. Immigration and the resulting non-citizen population not only redistributes seats in the House, it has the same effect on presidential elections because the apportionment of the Electoral College is based on the same basic calculations as congressional delegations. Thus immigration policy and the resulting large non-citizen population it produces impacts the distribution of political influence both in Congress and in the Executive.
We need to reform the way congressional districts are apportioned. States with a high concentration of illegal aliens and legal non-citizen residents will lose their influence, not only in the halls of Congress, but in deciding presidential elections. Can anyone say California?