The Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies released a report last week examining the impact of legal and illegal immigration on the apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and votes in the Electoral College. It predicts Georgia could lose a U.S. congressional seat.
The Center notes that House seats and electoral votes are based on total state populations, not citizenship. By adding significantly to the population of some states compared to others, legal and illegal immigration reduces the political power of low-immigration states, which are comprised mostly of U.S. citizens, and redistributes it to high-immigration states.
“When making immigration policy, the impact of increased numbers on the redistribution of power should at least be considered. The presence of large numbers of foreign-born residents – whether naturalized citizens, green card holders, guest workers, foreign students, or illegal aliens – impacts many aspects of American life, including apportionment,” says Stephen Camarota, the Center’s director of research and co-author of the report.
Among the findings:
• The presence of all foreign-born persons (naturalized citizens, legal residents, guest workers, foreign students, and illegal aliens) and their U.S.-born minor children will redistribute 26 seats in the House in 2020.
• To put this number in perspective, changing the party of 21 members of the current Congress would flip the majority in the U.S. House.
• The presence of all immigrants and their U.S.-born minor children will cause OH to have three fewer seats in 2020 than it otherwise would have had but for the presence of immigrants and their minor children in other states. MI and PA will have two fewer; and AL, AR, Georgia, ID, IN, IA, KY, LA, MN, MS, MO, NC, OK, RI, SC, TN, UT, WV, and WI will each have one fewer seat. CA will have 11 more seats in 2020 than it otherwise would have; NY and TX will have four more seats each; FL will have three more seats; NJ will have two more seats; and IL and MA will each have one additional seat.
• Of the 26 seats that will be lost, 24 are from states that voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Of states that will gain political power from immigration, 19 seats will go to the solidly Democratic states of CA, NY, NJ, MA, and IL. TX is the only solidly Republican state that gains, while FL is a swing state.
• Looking at immigrants (naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents, guest workers, foreign students and illegal aliens), but not their U.S.-born minor children, will redistribute 18 seats in the House in 2020. OH will have two fewer seats than it otherwise would have had but for the presence of immigrants in other states. AL, GA, ID, IA, IN, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, NC, OK, PA, TN, UT, and WV will each have one fewer seat. CA will have seven more seats in 2020 than it otherwise would. NY and FL will have three more each; TX and NJ will have two more seats; and IL will have one more seat.