A space meant for a civil dialogue on various immigration issues.
Friday, November 6, 2009
The Undocummented and Congressional Redistricting.
Preparations for the 2010 census are proceeding with haste. One of the most visible effects of the decennial census is the reapportionment of the seats from the house of Representative among the states. California is already the most populace state in the union with 53 House of Representatives seats. Texas is the second largest with 32 seats followed by NY that claims a net total number of 29 seats. The fourth most populace state is Florida with 25 seats. So how is any of this connected to undocumented immigrants and the census? The census counts all those that live in the United States but does not differentiate between citizens and non citizens or legal and illegal residents. That is why many of the Republican members of the House of Representatives have been on a mission to force the upcoming census to ask residents whether they are US citizens or not. As you might have already guessed the motivation for such efforts is far from being purely an interest in the truth. California and New York attract almost fifty percent of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants and since these two states are overwhelmingly democratic then it behooves the Republicans to prevent the Democrats from gaining any “unearned” and “undeserved” advantage over the more “patriotic” and” jingoistic” Republican nativists. The Bennet-Vitter amendment was defeated today in a vote totally along party lines. All the 58 Democrats voted to reject including the citizenship question on the census forms while each of the 39 Republicans voted to include the question, the two left leaning independents voted with the Democrats. Senator Bennett vowed to continue the fight but it looks very highly unlikely that he would succeed. The Department of Commerce has already sent the forms out for printing and the census is to start by March. So how big could the discrepancy from this potential miscount be? Here is my rough back of the envelope estimate. Based on an estimated population of approximately 309,000,000 for the country then each congressional districts represents approximately 708,000 US residents. If we are to assume that the 10 million undocumented immigrants are distributed essentially among five states as such: California 4.0 million; NY 2.0 million; Texas 1.6 million; Florida 1.3 million and NJ 1.1 and if one is to assume that California and NY are safe Democratic states while Texas is a safe Republican state while Florida and NJ are to be split between the two parties then it becomes obvious that all this fuss is a big ado about nothing. The greatest potential windfall for the Democratic Party is not more than 2 seats out of the 435 voting seats in the House.
Do you Support asylum for undocumented immigrants?
Should the Census 2010 count illegal immigrants.The US Constitution says: "The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of 10 years"
Who should be inoculated against "swine flu"?
Are the undocumented in the US inspite of us or are we accomplices?