Challenging U.S. Census Policy of Counting Illegal Aliens When Apportioning Seats in Congress

Are you aware that the U.S. Census Bureau counts illegal aliens when determining how many seats in Congress a state should receive? That means states with large illegal alien populations are now receiving a disproportionate amount of seats in Congress and therefore more power in establishing national policy.



Judicial Watch is now involved in a high-stakes legal campaign to put a stop to this unconstitutional policy.

Recently, we filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the State of Louisiana challenging the current federal policy in which “unlawfully present aliens” were counted in the 2010 Census (Louisiana v. Bryson).

The government used these census numbers to reapportion seats in the House of Representatives and, as a result, the State of Louisiana lost a House seat to which it was entitled. Louisiana is asking that the Supreme Court order the federal government to recalculate the 2010 apportionment of House seats based upon legal residents as the U.S. Constitution requires.

Judicial Watch, in partnership with the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF), filed the brief on January 13, 2012, in a lawsuit filed by the State of Louisiana against John Bryson, U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Robert Groves, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau; and Karen Lehman Hass, Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Here’s a brief excerpt from our amicus:


Amici are concerned about the failure to enforce the nation’s immigration laws and the corrosive effect of this failure on our institutions and the rule of law. Among the problems caused by this failure is a redistribution of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to States with large populations of unlawfully present aliens.

Amici respectfully submit that neither Article I Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the Fourteenth Amendment, or any other provision of the Constitution authorize or permit the inclusion of unlawfully present aliens in the apportionment process. As a result, this case raises issues critical not just to Louisiana, but to every State, every American citizen, and our federal system of government.

Judicial Watch argues that, due to this Census Bureau policy, at least five states will lose House seats to which they are entitled.

For example, based upon the Census Bureau’s calculation, Louisiana is being allocated only six House seats, as opposed to the seven that it would have been apportioned, were it not for the inclusion of illegal aliens and “non-immigrant foreign nationals,” which encompasses holders of student visas and guest workers. The brief also notes that the “apportionment, in turn, determines the apportionment of electors in the Electoral College for the next three presidential elections.”

It is the contention of the State of Louisiana, Judicial Watch, and AEF that “the policy of counting unlawfully present aliens in the nation’s decennial census is unconstitutional and undermines both our federal system of government and our democratic institutions,” and is the “direct result of the failure to enforce our nation’s immigration laws.”

In other words, the U.S. Census is distorting the democratic process.

And the problem is only going to get worse considering the Obama administration’s hostility to enforcing illegal immigration laws, which is causing greater numbers of illegal aliens to flood into the country. You can see how that this failure to enforce immigration law undermines a foundational aspect of our democracy. We are pleased to join with the Allied Educational Foundation to file this amicus curiae brief in support of the State of Louisiana and the rule of law. And we hope the Supreme Court takes up this historic case and vindicates the right of American citizens to have full representation in Washington.

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