Ricketts, Hagerty, Colleagues Introduce Bill to End Counting Illegal Aliens for Electoral College Votes and Congressional District Apportionment
January 25, 2024
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) joined Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and other Republican colleagues at a press conference to introduce the Equal Representation Act. The bill would add a citizenship question to the census and ensure only legal citizens are factored into the count for Congressional districts and the Electoral College map that determines presidential elections. The current method of counting illegal immigrants for purposes of representation serves as an incentive for open borders and sanctuary policies that would inflate population counts for political purposes.
The legislation comes after video revealed Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) openly calling for more illegal immigration to her New York congressional district because she “need more people in [her] district for redistricting purposes.”
“Since 1820, the federal government has routinely utilized the Census to ask questions about citizenship status,” said Senator Ricketts. “This current policy rewards sanctuary cities and sanctuary states with outsized population because it’s counting people who came here illegally, people who broke the law. And it’s fundamentally unfair to states like mine in Nebraska, or states who are following the law, to reward folks in states who are breaking the law… Only citizens can vote in elections and that’s the way it needs to remain. It makes sense that only citizens should be counted for the purposes of Congressional representation and Electoral College votes. This bill will make the data and policy changes to make sure we implement that.”
Co-sponsors of the bill include Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Katie Britt (R-AL), Ted Budd (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), John Thune (R-SD), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and J.D. Vance (R-OH).
Currently, illegal immigrants are counted for congressional district apportionment and, therefore, Electoral College votes. For example, in a state like California, millions of illegal alien residents result in California taking several more congressional seats and Electoral College votes than the states’ population of citizens would justify. In other words, being a magnet for illegal immigration increases the power of a Californian’s vote relative to an individual in another state with less population boost from illegal immigration. This creates a perverse incentive encouraging illegal immigration and resettlement to increase political power.
Specifically, the Equal Representation Act:
- Requires that the Census Bureau include a citizenship question on any future census to provide a greater understanding of the U.S. population and delineate between citizens and non-citizens for apportionment purposes;
- Prohibits non-citizens from being counted for purposes of congressional district and Electoral College apportionment; and
- Requires that the Census Bureau publicly report on certain demographic data.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.
Senator Ricketts: “Since 1820, the Census has routinely asked questions about citizenship. This current policy rewards sanctuary cities and sanctuary states with outsized population because it’s counting people who came here illegally, people who broke the law. And it’s fundamentally unfair to states like mine in Nebraska, or states who are following the law, to reward folks in states who are breaking the law.
“In the last year, Joe Biden has abused the parole system to parole 1.2 million people into this country. That’s about two-thirds the size of the state of Nebraska – our population. The average, just to put it in context, during Obama and Trump, on average, 5,600 people – that’s five thousand six hundred people – would be paroled into this country over the course of a given year. And Joe Biden has just done it for 1.2 million people. That highlights how unfair this is.
”Congresswoman Yvette’s Clarke’s quote has already been referenced a couple of times here, how she said she needed more illegal immigrants for redistricting purposes. That really highlights what the Democrats are thinking. This is unfair, and this bill would correct that injustice.
”Only citizens can vote in elections and that’s the way it needs to remain. So it makes sense that only citizens should be counted for the purposes of Congressional representation and Electoral College votes. This bill will make the data and policy changes to make sure we implement that. And frankly, this is what Nebraskans expect – that only citizens are going to be involved in determining who has representation in Congress and those Electoral College votes.”