Legal and Illegal Immigration Impact Political Representation

Signs advertising the 2020 U.S. Census in Seattle, Wash., March 23, 2020. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
Including illegal immigrants in the census increases the voting power of states that have lots of them.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he Trump administration recently moved to exclude illegal immigrants from the census count used for apportioning House seats and Electoral College votes by state. The order was met with the kind of breathless response we have come to expect from the media in the Trump era. Wednesday’s hearing on the topic in the House of Representatives gave politicians another opportunity to posture.

As is too often the case, the facts have been obscured by the outrage. Through both apportionment across states and redistricting within them, the presence of noncitizens does affect political representation — often to the detriment of conservatives.

In theory,


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