CitizenLink: Congress Debates Counting Illegal Aliens
This is an important issue. It is not correct to grant illegal immigrants political power through representation. I am not advocating they don't have human rights, but being illegal, they should remain outside the political process. This sort of counting only confuses the issues, divides the nation, and weakens our government's ability to solve the border security and illegal immigration problems. It has to stop.
Who is counted determines how many representatives states will have.
As Congress considers several immigration bills, the debate this week centered on whether illegal immigrants be counted when it comes to establishing the number of representatives each state has in the U.S. House.
Especially in border states where illegal immigration has skewed the census significantly, House seats hang in the balance.
Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., said the numbers in the House should be based on those who are citizens of the United States.
"People who are in our country illegally or are not legal citizens of our nation are being accounted and apportioned congressional representation just the same as every legal American citizen," she said.
Miller is proposing a constitutional amendment to guarantee that only U.S. citizens are counted.
"We disenfranchise our own American citizens by allowing illegal immigrants to be counted for the purposes of Congressional representation in the same identical way
that we count legal citizens," she said.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said the Miller Amendment would upend what she said is a 14th Amendment requirement that everyone be counted, legal or not.
"To politically manipulate the count and generate undercounts in border states to benefit interior states, is discrimination," she said.
Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, told Family News in Focus that the obvious answer is the right answer.
"I believe, constitutionally and historically, citizens who are citizens of the United States of America count as part of the apportionment -- that's the only legitimate way," he said.
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