A Different Concern on Illegal Immigration

Northern Virginia is awash with concerns about illegal immigration and impacts on housing, pressure on government services, crime, and quality of life.  A letter to the editor in todays WaPo indicates a different area of concern I (for one) had not thought about.

US Representative Candice Miller (R-Mich) writes that illegal immigrants are skewing congressional apportionment:

Every Election Day, noncitizens infringe on the right to proper and proportional representation for U.S. citizens as a result of the 14th Amendment, which requires that those in our country illegally be counted when seats are apportioned for Congress.

Rep. Miller goes on to explain she is submitting a House Joint Resolution 6 to correct a “technical error” in the 14th amendment regarding the conduct of the census so that “citizens” are counted, and not “people”.

Immigration is, I suppose, a somewhat Gumpian problem. Everytime you open the box of chocolates, you find a different flavor. Or, it may be a simple matter of whose bull is getting gored.

In a previous editorial entitled “Count Them In”, the WaPo suggested that the census concerns were misplaced and took issue with the Bush administration to continue aggressively searching for illegals during the census season.  Apparently in the last three census cycles the search has been curtailed in order to get illegals to cooperate and be counted.  Beyond the constitutional requirement, the Post went on to say:

The information obtained from the census is also critical in determining political representation and the allocation of funds. Census officials don’t care about an individual’s personal information; they care about population trends and how that information can be harnessed to craft better public policies.

Representative Miller’s primary concern is apportionment, and doesn’t talk spending. The WaPo barely mentions apportionment and uses the vast bulk of the editorial to focus on getting accurate numbers to allow successful policy making.

Neither seems to think the other has a reasonable point.

Sure seems like where the spotlight is focused depends on whose ox is being gored.


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