House Passes Bill To Include Citizenship Question On Census, Excludes Illegal Immigrants From Apportionment

The Equal Representation Act, a measure aimed at adding a citizenship question to the census and preventing illegal immigrants from influencing the redistricting and Electoral College apportionment processes, was passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-IL), garnered support from over 100 co-sponsors but is unlikely to advance in the Senate.

Edwards emphasized the importance of ensuring that only American citizens determine the allocation of congressional seats and electoral votes. “The mere presence of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is influencing electoral outcomes,” he stated, adding that the Equal Representation Act would “protect our democracy.”

Critics of the bill argued that the Constitution calls for counting “persons” in the country and expressed concerns that adding the citizenship question could discourage honest responses. They also worried that permanent residents, such as Green Card holders, might be excluded from the apportionment process.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) claimed 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 further asserted that amending the Constitution would be necessary to address the concerns raised by Republicans.

The passage of the Equal Representation Act comes amid ongoing debates about immigration and election security. 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 scheduled for 2030, and the outcome of this legislation could have significant implications for the apportionment of congressional seats and the allocation of electoral votes in future elections.