Citizenship Question on Census Could Impact Congressional Maps

Citizenship Question on Census Could Impact Congressional Maps

After a key House committee advanced legislation this week to require a citizenship question on the U.S. Census, support for the measure could be growing in the backdrop of the border crisis and its potential impact on congressional reapportionment.

Heritage Action, a policy advocacy arm of The Heritage Foundation, announced Friday the Equal Representation Act would be scored as a key vote. The bill is S 3659 in the Senate and HR 7109 in the House. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

Under current law, foreign citizens living in the United States are counted in the Census, and thus toward congressional apportionment. Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., publicly admitted, “We have a diaspora that can absorb a significant number of these migrants. … I need more people in my district just for redistricting purposes.” 

Joe Biden’s deadly border policies have made the illegal immigration crisis the number one concern of the American people, and voters are pleading for Congress to fight back,” Heritage Action Executive Vice President Ryan Walker said in a statement.

The House version has 100 co-sponsors and was approved by the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability. After being in all but one census from 1820 to 2000, the Census citizenship question was abandoned in the 2010 questionnaire during the Obama administration.

“Congressional apportionment and electoral votes should be based solely on the needs of American citizens. Heritage Action is proud to have helped push this bill past the 100 cosponsor mark and will keep working with conservatives across the country to finish the job,” Walker said.

The Heritage Action announcement comes the same day House Speaker Mike Johnson was set to join former President Donald Trump for a press conference on election integrity Friday, The Hill reported

Reps. Chuck Edwards, R-N.C., and Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, introduced the House version and Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., introduced the Senate version. The goal is to protect Americans’ electoral power and congressional representation.

“Members of Congress represent U.S. citizens, not foreigners,” Davidson said in a statement. “Under the Democrats’ open border policies, sanctuary cities and states inflate their population with illegal aliens. Then they’re rewarded with more congressional representation by a Census that counts illegals. The inflated count is then used to draw congressional maps, undermining fair representation for our citizens.”

Edwards stressed only American citizens can legally vote, “so only American citizens should be counted when determining federal representation.”

“In the 2008 Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller, the justices defined ‘the people’ to mean all members of the political community. To be a member of a political community, you must be an eligible voter,” Edwards said in a statement. “The Equal Representation Act addresses one of the many consequences of our open border—illegal immigrant influence in America’s electoral process. America is waking up to this insidious threat to our democracy.”

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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.