House Votes To Add Citizenship Question To Census, Block Illegal Immigrants From Skewing Apportionment

In a party-line vote of 206 to 202, the House of Representatives passed the Equal Representation Act on Wednesday, a bill that seeks to include a citizenship question on the census and prevent illegal immigrants from influencing the redistricting and Electoral College apportionment processes. Sponsored by Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-IL), the legislation has garnered support from over 100 co-sponsors but faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

Proponents of the bill argue that the presence of illegal immigrants in the United States is affecting electoral outcomes and that the Equal Representation Act would safeguard the nation’s democracy by ensuring that only American citizens have a say in determining the country’s direction.

Edwards stated, “Including the count of non-US citizens in determining how many congressional seats and electoral votes each state has is skewing the representation of Americans in their federal government.”

Opponents of the bill pointed to the Constitution’s call for counting “persons” in the country and raised concerns that the citizenship question could deter honest responses. They also expressed fears that permanent residents, such as Green Card holders, could be excluded from the apportionment process.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) suggested that the current system benefits Republican-led states like Texas and Florida, whose congressional delegations are “already inflated by virtue of counting people who are not citizens.” He maintained that amending the Constitution would be necessary to address the concerns raised by Republicans.

The passage of the Equal Representation Act comes as the United States grapples with immigration and election security issues. Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL), a co-sponsor of the bill, cited “Biden’s disastrous and intentional border crisis” as a reason to “take steps to preserve the integrity of our elections.”

The next decennial census is set to take place in 2030, and the outcome of this legislation could have far-reaching implications for the apportionment of congressional seats and the allocation of electoral votes in future elections.