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ICYMI: Emmer slams House Democrats for allowing their ‘open-borders agenda to get in the way of common sense’

WASHINGTON – House Majority Whip Tom Emmer slammed House Democrats for voting unanimously against H.R. 7109, the Equal Representation Act, on Wednesday. In a statement, Whip Emmer said, “It’s a shame that House Democrats are allowing their open-borders agenda to get in the way of common sense.”

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House Passes Bill to Restore Citizenship Question to Census
The Daily Signal
Rob Bluey
May 8, 2024

Legislation adopted Wednesday by the House of Representatives would restore a question about U.S. citizenship to the 2030 census, potentially reshaping congressional representation and the Electoral College.

Lawmakers voted, 206-202, to pass the Equal Representation Act, a bill championed by Reps. Chuck Edwards, R-N.C., and Warren Davidson, R-Ohio. (See how your representative voted.) Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., introduced the Senate version, which Republicans overwhelmingly supported in a March vote.

With millions of illegal aliens residing in the United States—a problem exacerbated by the Biden administration’s border policies—the legislation aims to protect Americans’ electoral power and congressional representation by ensuring foreign citizens aren’t counted in the census.

“If you are an illegal immigrant, you should not be represented in the U.S. Congress,” House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., told The Daily Signal. “It’s a shame that House Democrats are allowing their open-borders agenda to get in the way of common sense.”

One of those Democrats openly acknowledged the benefits of counting illegal aliens. Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., admitted, “We have a diaspora that can absorb a significant number of these migrants. … I need more people in my district just for redistricting purposes.”

After being in all but one census from 1820 to 2000, the citizenship question was abandoned in the 2010 questionnaire during the Obama administration. The Trump administration attempted to restore the citizenship question for the 2020 census, but a divided Supreme Court ruled against its approach, and the idea was abandoned.

The Equal Representation Act would require the citizenship question on the 2030 census and each decennial census that follows.

Heritage Action, an independent partner of The Heritage Foundation, advocated for passage of the Equal Representation Act. The organization scored Wednesday’s vote on HR 7109. (The Heritage Foundation created The Daily Signal in 2014.)

Ryan Walker, Heritage Action’s executive vice president, faulted the Obama administration for undoing nearly 200 years of precedent. Walker said the consequences of inaction are significant, given the ongoing border crisis.

“Illegal immigrants and other noncitizens cannot vote, and should not be given the power to sway our elections or congressional maps—especially in light of Joe Biden’s border crisis that has brought more than 10 million people into our country,” Walker said. “The Equal Representation Act puts electoral power back in the hands of those with the right to vote—American citizens—something every member of Congress must protect.”

The House version amassed 114 co-sponsors and was approved by the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability in April on a 22-20 vote.

“Members of Congress represent U.S. citizens, not foreigners,” said Davidson, the bill’s co-sponsor. “Under the Democrats’ open-border policies, sanctuary cities and states inflate their population with illegal aliens. Then they’re rewarded with more congressional representation by a census that counts illegals. The inflated count is then used to draw congressional maps, undermining fair representation for our citizens.”

Edwards stressed only American citizens can legally vote, “so, only American citizens should be counted when determining federal representation.”

Hagerty forced a vote on the Equal Representation Act in March. It ultimately failed, 51-45, although only one Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted against it. Three other Republicans didn’t vote.