Ohio has lost a congressional seat and an Electoral College Vote (ECV) to a state with a large population of illegal aliens. This shift in power is a consequence of our current understanding of the Article I Section 2 and the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. Under our current interpretation of the law, illegal aliens are counted for the purposes of apportionment.
If illegal aliens were not counted in last apportionment, Ohio would have lost only one congressional seat, not two. Ohio is not the only state affected. Based on an analysis done by Clark Bensen for his company Polidata the following states lost one congressional seat and one ECV from the inclusion of illegal aliens in the apportionment process: Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. The big winner in this apportionment shift is California which picks up 5 seats and 5 ECV. Texas gains 2 seats and 2 ECV. Florida and New York both gain one congressional seat and one ECV.
Chirs Weigant, in an article published by the Huffington Post, makes the point that in terms of the ratio of “persons” to House seats; counting illegal aliens does not really have much effect on your numerical relationship to your elected representatives. When you talk about a number of approximately one House Representatives per 650,000 “persons” (in most states), the change in this ratio caused by counting illegal aliens say of 25,000 more “persons” per House seat, it is hard to imagine a measurable decline in any single voter’s political power.
But saying that political power is not a function of the ratio of the represented to representative does not prove that political power is not being affected by counting illegal aliens. If political power is a function of alliances, based on regional, party affiliations and state delegations, than it is easy to see how counting illegal aliens does affect the balance of political power in the United States. House seats and ECV have been shifted to solidly blue states of New York and California. Florida enhances its power as an important swing state, while Ohio, another important swing state, has becomes, if only slightly, less important.
This shift of power caused by the counting of illegal aliens is hard to gauge and may even be inconsequential with regard to many of the issues facing our country, but on one issue; immigration the political effect is undeniable. As house seats and ECV are being shifted to states with large illegal alien populations, it follows that political power is being shifted to states more politically sympathetic to the plight of illegal aliens. This obvious fact gives illegal aliens some real measure of political power over the laws they are currently violating.
You might say that even in the case of California, which has 5 seats that are directly attributed to a constituency made up of an illegal alien population, that this is not a significant number of votes in a house with 435 members. But because of the political and vague nature of reapportionment, there is a multiplier effect that needs to be considered. If apportionment excludes illegal aliens or if a significant number of illegal aliens are persuaded to leave the state of California before that last census, it would set off a round of house district of musical-chairs in which any member of the California house delegation could find themselves without a home district and without a seat in the US House of Representatives. So, in a very real sense, illegal aliens in California are an important constituency for every house member of the California delegation. It should also not be forgotten that the distribution of federal dollars is based on census data and apportionment.
Without getting to the tortured history of how the constitution has handled citizenship, apportionment and voter rights, I find it hard to believe that the framers of the constitution or the purveyors of the 14th Amendment could have anticipated the current large scale and wholesale disregard of our immigration law by foreign nationals residing in the United States. I find it hard to believe that these law makers would have approved of any legal framework by which a constituency of illegal aliens residing in the US – in direct violation of our immigration laws -, would have any measure of political power to effect those same immigration laws.
The failure of our current political class to make any serious effort to address a legal framework that takes political power away from United States citizens in Ohio and hands it over to the foreign nationals present in the US, in violation of our immigration laws, is an example of the breakdown in the integrity of our political and democratic institutions.
See Chis Weigant post “Should The Census Count Illegal Immigrants”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-weigant/should-the-census-count-i_b_66897.html
See Clark Benses of Polidate Map of Congressional Districts without the incursion illegal aliens for the purposes of apportionment: http://www.polidata.org/comments/el06%5CSTCIT3CA.pdf