No Democrats Support House Bill to Add Citizenship Question to Census

( – Former President Donald Trump tried to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The Supreme Court allowed a lower court order blocking the question to stay in place, so it was never added to the national survey. Republicans are now trying to pass a law to add it.

On May 8, House Republicans brought the Equal Representation Act to the floor for a vote. The bill would require the Census to include a question about citizenship for each member of the responding households. It also requires the president to send a statement to Congress that indicates the number of citizens in each state, excluding the noncitizens. Congress will only use the count of American citizens to determine how many representatives each state gets.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 206 to 202. No Democrats voted to add the question to the Census.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) issued a statement after the vote saying it was necessary because Congress “should not reward states and cities that violate immigration laws” with more representation. He continued, saying that only US “citizens should be counted for electoral apportionment.”

The legislation would mean that states with high populations of undocumented immigrants would lose representation in Congress. According to the 2020 Census, the three with the highest number of undocumented immigrants are California, Texas, and Florida. If the Equal Representation Act passes the Senate and is signed into law, those states would lose representation after the next Census.

Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution requires the government to count “the whole Number of free Persons” in the United States every 10 years. It does not differentiate between US citizens and noncitizens. The 14th Amendment also requires Congress to distribute congressional seats based on “the whole number of persons in each State,” it doesn’t mention citizenship either.

The chances of the bill passing the Senate are slim. In March, the upper chamber rejected similar language that was added to an appropriations bill.

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