". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


How Illegal Immigration Defeats the Pro-Life, Pro-Family Movement

March 12, 2024

The impact of illegal immigration fills our TV screens, crime blotters, and morgues every day. But too few Americans appreciate how lawlessness at the border advances other liberal policies. Illegal immigration gives Democrats extra votes in Congress and greater control over all three branches of government. It forces you to spend even more of your tax dollars on transgender procedures and masks the failure of big-spending government programs. Most offensively, it drowns out your voice in your own government.

Democrats draw artificial power for all of their plans — including expanded abortion and transgender procedures — from a seemingly unrelated issue: counting illegal immigrants in the U.S. census. Under the Constitution, the number of congressional seats, Electoral College votes, and federal funding each state receives depends on its population. Lumping in illegal immigrants and resident aliens with native-born Americans gives sanctuary states undeserved power. This opaque issue exploded into the open last week, when Senate Republicans introduced a measure to give you back the full sovereignty you are due as an American citizen — and Senate Democrats shot it down.

Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) introduced the Equal Representation Act (S. 3659 and H.R. 7109), which would ask census-takers if they are U.S. citizens — and count only U.S. citizens when apportioning congressional seats. Chuck Schumer’s Senate would not allow a vote, but on March 8, Hagerty attached it as an amendment to a $460 billion spending package. Senate Democrats predictably voted against an honest census en bloc, 45-51. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined with the Democrats to give them an anti-accountability majority. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) claimed the measure attempted to “attack vulnerable, underrepresented groups,” because “our country has never excluded undocumented individuals from the apportionment process.”

But Hirono is wrong. The U.S. Census Bureau explains the Constitution’s enumeration clause (Article 1, Section 2) did not count “Indians not taxed,” because these individuals lived “under some sort of separate sovereignty recognized by a treaty, and did not vote or perform other duties related to citizenship.” This held until the American people granted U.S. citizenship to all tribal members born on U.S. soil in the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, signed by President Calvin Coolidge. By definition, non-citizens have not been granted citizenship — although three states and the District of Columbia allow non-citizens to vote in elections, and only seven states prohibit it (New York City would be on that list absent constitutional limitations.) Non-citizens should not have any impact on the course of U.S. politics. Yet the same politicians continually crowing about mythical Russian attacks on “Our Democracy” want illegal immigrants to shape the course of our everyday government.

Counting non-citizens in the U.S. census has a palpable impact on Congress, transferring power from conservative states to liberal ones. A report from immigration scholars found that counting non-citizens in the census redistributes eight congressional seats: It gives extra seats to California (3), Texas (2), New York, New Jersey, and Florida (one each); and it takes seats away from Alabama, Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia (one seat each). Illegal immigrants alone transfer one seat each from Ohio, Alabama, and Minnesota to California, Texas, and New York.

Imagine a Congress without Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, and Maxine Waters. In their place, we would have an extra Jim Jordan, and Alabama voters wouldn’t have had to choose between conservative incumbents Barry Moore and Jerry Carl on Super Tuesday. The scholars similarly broke down some of the congressional districts with the largest share of non-citizens. Among them is New York’s 14th district, represented by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Thus, the legally dubious policy of counting non-citizens in the census empowers the most radical left-wing voices. The prescient John Zmirak wrote in 2019, “Open Borders Equals Abortion.” Today, open borders equals abortion, porn in school libraries, and transgender surgeries for children.

It bears noting, these figures came from 2019, before the Biden administration added an unprecedented number of illegal immigrants to the U.S. population. Without mass deportations, the next redistribution of voting power will be even greater.

Of course, none of these radical representatives truly represent illegal immigrants. Leftists count illegal immigrants much the way slave states lobbied to count slaves: Slaveowners wanted to make their slaves do double labor, working in the fields and giving slave states more political power. Child labor and human trafficking remain a concern for illegal immigrants, as well. “Undocumented migrants” hold down labor costs, undercutting U.S. citizens’ wages (especially black citizens) while handing blue states a greater share of the federal budget and political representation.

Although the immediate impact falls on Congress, counting illegal immigrants in the census also affects the other two branches of government. These illicit congressional seats give states additional votes in the Electoral College, which determines the presidency. Since the president appoints Supreme Court justices, an inaccurate Census creates a whole-of-government distortion of democracy.

Counting illegal immigrants not only gives liberals the votes to implement left-wing policies, it forces you to pay for them. Census figures directed $2.8 trillion in federal spending through 353 federal programs in 2021, the U.S Census Bureau reported. Before the pandemic, the greatest census-related cost to U.S. taxpayers came from Medicaid: The lower a state’s median income, the more money it gets, so it pays to pad the numbers. Now, consider: Medicaid programs in 26 states and the District of Columbia cover so-called “gender-affirming care” (cross-sex hormone injections and/or transgender surgeries). A total of 83% of America’s sanctuary states cover transgender procedures through Medicaid. Overcounting their population means you foot more of the bill for these life-altering procedures. Additionally, eight of the 10 states that cover abortion-on-demand through Medicaid are sanctuary states — and AOC has led the charge to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal taxpayer dollars from funding most of these abortions.

This policy should concern fiscal conservatives, as well. Counting non-citizens in the census generally subsidizes high-tax, high-regulation states at the expense of low-tax, fiscally responsible states. Data from the 2020 census showed U.S. citizens fleeing California, New York, and Illinois (all high-tax, sanctuary states) in favor of Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee. These citizens take federal funding with them — unless blue states can plug the gap with illegal immigrants and non-citizens, effectively transferring wealth from U.S. citizens to foreigners and their left-wing political leaders. “While people continue to flee Democrat-run cities, desperate Democrats are back-filling the mass exodus with illegal immigrants,” said Hagerty.

The Left has reacted radically each time someone suggests this policy, which would bolster citizenship and move America one step closer to constitutional order. The U.S. Census asked about citizenship until the question was removed from the 1960 census. The Left’s histrionics when President Donald Trump tried to reinsert the question into the 2020 census underline how closely they guard their ill-gotten money and power. After the vote, Haggerty declared, “Democrats’ unanimous opposition to this commonsense measure confirms that they’re using illegal aliens and sanctuary cities to increase their political power.” Indeed, I have long argued that the Left’s position on every policy in Washington can be explained based on whether it increases or decreases its political power. It is the one thing that explains everything the Left does.

Jesus said, “The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light” (Luke 16:8). This scriptural truth plays itself out daily in Washington, D.C. While Christian voters hide our talent in the earth, those dedicated to foisting extreme policies on the nation use every lever to impose their agenda. They are apparently willing to pile up the bodies of Laken Riley, Kate Steinle, and an untold number of angel families in the process.

Christians would point out that the Bible repeatedly condemns false weights and measures (Leviticus 19:36Deuteronomy 25:13Proverbs 16:11, Proverbs 20:10; and Proverbs 20:23), thereby excluding efforts to mix non-citizens into a census intended to represent the American people. The Bible provides precedents for taking a census only of citizens (Exodus 30:12, Numbers 26:4, II Samuel 24:1) and excluding some residents (Numbers 1:49). Enrollment in this census sometimes qualified non-citizens (II Chronicles 2:17) and citizens alike (Numbers 14:29) for unique civic responsibilities.

The story strikes me personally, as members of my own spiritual tradition prepare to observe Lent. During this time, we say a beautiful ancient prayer which begins, “O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.” The thousands of crimes the government documents at the hands of illegal immigrants illustrates the ways an insatiable thirst for fleeting, earthly power hurts some, kills others, and destroys the souls of those so afflicted.

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.