NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 12, 2009

Next year's decennial census is rife with opportunities for a major power grab by the president's party, says Linda Chavez, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity.

The White House has made very clear that their intention is to put extra effort into counting illegal immigrants in the next Census. It wants to make sure that all 12 million illegal immigrants are counted, a task that's not easy given the desire of most people who are illegally in the United States to avoid detection:

  • Estimates are that if illegal immigrants are counted in the 2010 census, California will keep two seats it would otherwise lose (since that state has been losing citizen residents at a rapid rate) and Arizona and Texas will each pick up seats.
  • The big loser will be the Midwest, however, with a loss of six seats among five states, according to a study by the Connecticut State Data Center.

The real issue is what this will mean to individual voters in districts that are made up mostly of citizens.  Their votes will, in effect, be diluted by the votes of citizens who live in districts where large numbers of illegal immigrants live, says Chavez.

This change has the potential to dramatically alter the meaning of representative democracy.  If the Obama Administration succeeds in counting 12 million illegal immigrants in next year's census, its will effectively disenfranchise an equal number of U.S. citizens, says Chavez.

Source: Linda Chavez, "Disenfranchising Citizens," Jewish World Review, October 9, 2009.

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