Illegal aliens could cause California to gain nine seats in the House of Representatives as a result of the 2010 census, according to an op-ed written in the Wall Street Journal. LSU law professor John Baker and demographer Elliott Stonecipher wrote the article and say that both California and Texas could see large seat gains if the Census Bureau uses a short form that doesn't ask about citizenship status.
The U.S. Constitution calls for a count of the nation's population every 10 years to determine Congressional representation. The count has been done in a number of different ways over the years, but the 2010 census will use a short form. Chief of the Census Bureau's Immigration Statistics staff Dr. Elizabeth Grieco was quoted in the Wall Street Journal article saying that the count will not ask about citizenship status.
Should next year's census include illegal aliens, it would have a dramatic impact on the way the House's 435 seats are apportioned. California, Texas, Florida, Nevada and Arizona could see significant seat gains, while Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Ohio could likely lose seats.
Baker and Stonecipher write in their article that California would have the most significant impact. They predict that the state would see an increase from 53 to 57 members in the House compared to a loss of five seats if illegal aliens are not counted.
"The census has drifted far from its constitutional roots, and the 2010 enumeration will result in a malapportionment of Congress," Baker and Stonecipher write.
See the full article at the Wall Street Journal
Updated: Mon, Aug 10th 2009 @ 12:31pm EDT