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How removing unauthorized immigrants from census statistics could affect House reapportionment



Since the first census of the United States in 1790, counts that include both citizens and noncitizens have been used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives, with states gaining or losing based on population change over the previous decade. If unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. were removed from the 2020 census apportionment count – which the White House seeks to do – three states could each lose a seat they otherwise would have had and three others each could gain one, according to a Pew Research Center analysis based on government records.

If unauthorized immigrants were excluded from the apportionment count, California, Florida and Texas would each end up with one less congressional seat than they would have been awarded based on population change alone. California would lose two seats instead of one, Florida would gain one instead of two, and Texas would gain two instead of three, according to analysis based on projections of Census Bureau 2019 population estimates and the Center’s estimates of the unauthorized immigrant population.

This blog post explores the role of the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population in apportionment of congressional seats. Every decade, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count of all people living in the country, which is then used to distribute seats in the House of Representatives to the states. The analysis in this blog post is based on projections using Census Bureau population estimates, Pew Research Center estimates of the size of the unauthorized immigrant population and established formulas for assigning congressional seats.

The Method of Equal Proportions assigns congressional seats to states based on their populations after each state is given their first seat. The method requires 50 state population figures and assigns seats sequentially; it stops after the 435th seat is assigned. Our population figures for 2020 are based on the Census Bureau’s official population estimates for 2018 and 2019 projected to April 1, 2020. We use these for our baseline apportionment.

The Pew Research Center has published estimates of the unauthorized immigrant population for states through 2017. The estimates for 2016 and 2017 show very little change, and external indications suggest few changes since then. Accordingly, we use our 2017 estimates for 2020 and subtract them from the total to provide the populations for an apportionment which excludes unauthorized immigrants.

Alabama, Minnesota and Ohio would each hold onto a seat that they would have lost if apportionment were based only on total population change. Alabama filed a lawsuit in 2018 seeking to block the Census Bureau from including unauthorized immigrants in its population count.

In addition to these states, 11 more would gain or lose seats based on population change alone, whether unauthorized immigrants are included or excluded. Five states would gain one seat each: Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon. Six states would lose one seat each: Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

The apportionment of seats in Congress is required by the U.S. Constitution, which says that the census will be used to divide the House of Representatives “among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State,” except for enslaved people, who, until the late 1800s, were counted as three-fifths of a person, and certain American Indians. The 14th Amendment eliminated the partial count of enslaved people, and the total American Indian population was added later to congressional reapportionment calculations. The number of seats in the House was fixed at 435 following the 1910 census. Each state gets one seat, and the remainder are assigned according to a complex formula based on relative population size.

The census count includes everyone living in the United States, except for foreign tourists and business travelers in the country temporarily, according to Census Bureau rules. For apportionment purposes since 1990, military and civilian federal employees stationed abroad and their dependents are counted as living in a state if they provided a state address in their employment records. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Island area populations are excluded from the apportionment total because they have no voting representation in Congress.

Federal law requires the population totals from the decennial census be delivered to the president nine months after Census Day, meaning Dec. 31, 2020. The Census Bureau has requested Congress extend the deadline to April 30, 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic, although the White House reportedly may push for a “timely census” fueled by $1 billion in additional funding. States would redraw congressional district boundaries to fit the new totals. The results would take effect for the Congress that meets in 2023.

In his memorandum announcing a new policy “to the extent practicable” in how congressional seats are divided up, President Donald Trump asserted that the president has discretion to decide who is considered an inhabitant of the U.S. for apportionment purposes. Some of the same groups that successfully challenged the White House attempt to add a citizenship question to the census last year said they also would sue to block any change in apportionment policy. Democrats announced they would hold an emergency congressional hearing to respond.

The Census Bureau does not regularly publish counts or estimates of unauthorized immigrants, although the Department of Homeland Security has done so. Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against including a question about citizenship on the 2020 census, the president ordered the Census Bureau to assemble a separate database, using other government records, on the citizenship status of every U.S. resident. This has also been challenged in court.

The Center’s analysis relies on assumptions about populations to be counted in the 2020 census and estimates of unauthorized immigrants. The actual figures used for apportionment will be different from these, and so the actual apportionment could differ regardless of whether unauthorized immigrants are excluded from the apportionment totals.

D’Vera Cohn  is a senior writer/editor focusing on immigration and demographics at Pew Research Center.

Source: How removing unauthorized immigrants from census statistics could affect House reapportionment


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Immigration Reform

Biden plans sweeping reversal of Trump immigration agenda





President-elect Joe Biden is planning a swift reversal of President Trump’s most controversial immigration policies. CBS News’ Camilo Montoya-Galvez reports the incoming Democrat plans to dismantle within his first 100 days much of the agenda Mr. Trump has laid out over the last four years. Montoya-Galvez joins CBSN to break down Mr. Biden’s immigration plans.

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Immigration Reform

Biden plans to unravel Trump’s immigration policies during his first 100 days




Great news for DACA and Dreamers.

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Politics / Legislation

Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Immigration?




We are just 60 days away from Election day in the United States which falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. Do you know where your candidate stands on immigration? In this post, we cover Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on important immigration issues, and everything you need to know about his vision for America. We would,

We are just 60 days away from Election day in the United States which falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. Do you know where your candidate stands on immigration? In this post, we cover Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on important immigration issues, and everything you need to know about his vision for America.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind those of our readers who are American citizens to exercise their right to vote. It is your civic duty and will help shape the nation’s immigration policy for the next four years. For voter registration information please click here.

Immigration under Joe Biden

If elected President of the United States, Joe Biden has stated that he will enact a number of policies during his four-year term. Among these policies, he promises to take urgent action to undo destructive policies implemented by the Trump administration, modernize the immigration system, reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees, and implement effective border screening.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

First and foremost, Joe Biden supports working with Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration solution that would offer nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. As vice president, Joe Biden worked alongside former President Obama to push forward a bill that would do just that. Unfortunately, the Republican-led Congress refused to approve the bill, leaving millions of undocumented immigrants in limbo including Dreamers.

Joe Biden advocates for the creation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program,  the Central American Minors program, which allows parents with legal status in the U.S. to apply to bring their children from Central America to live with them, and the creation of a White House task force to support new Americans to integrate into American life and their communities.

Overview of Biden’s Immigration Commitments

Temporary Seasonal Workers. Biden wishes to work with Congress to reform the current system of temporary work visas to allow seasonal workers in select industries to easily switch jobs, while certifying the labor market’s need for foreign workers. Employers would be required to pay prevailing wages and ensure the right of all workers to join a union and exercise their labor rights.

High-skilled Temporary Visas. Biden will also work with Congress to reform temporary visas to establish a wage-based allocation process and create fraud prevention mechanisms. Biden supports expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, eliminating the backlogs.

Legalization for Agricultural Workers. For agricultural workers, Biden would support legislation between farmworkers and the agricultural industry to provide them with legal status based on prior agricultural work history, to ensure a “fast track” green card process ultimately workers them to apply for citizenship.

Removing Per-Country Cap Limitations. Biden is strongly against the current per-country cap visa limitations and the long waiting periods families must wait to be reunited. Biden will support a family-based immigration system allowing any approved applicant to receive a temporary non-immigrant visa until a permanent visa is processed, and will support legislation that treats spouses and children of green card holders as immediate relatives exempting them from the caps, and allowing parents to bring minor children with them at the time they immigrate.

Preserving the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Biden will continue to support the diversity visa lottery program and preserve the program.

Increase Employment Based Visas. Regarding employment-based visas, Biden will work with Congress to increase the number of visas for permanent employment-based immigration and temporarily reduce the number of visas during times of high U.S. unemployment. Biden would exempt from any cap recent graduates of PhD programs in STEM fields in the US.

New Visa Category for Cities and Counties Seeking Immigrant Work. Biden supports creating a new visa category that would allow cities and counties to petition for higher levels of immigrant to support their growth, provided employers certify there are available jobs and no workers to fill them. Holders of these visas would need to work and reside in the city or county that petitioned them and be subject to certification protections similar to employment-based immigrants.

Expansion of U Visa Program. Biden will expand the U visa program to include eligibility for workers who report certain workplace crimes.

Increase visas for Domestic Violence Survivors and Victims of Crime. Finally, Biden plans to triple the current cap of 10,000 on U-visas and increase visas for domestic violence survivors.

Policy on Removal and Enforcement Actions

Joe Biden plans to focus his administration on prioritizing removal and enforcement actions on persons who pose a threat to national security and public safety. The Biden administration would not target the removal of working-class undocumented immigrants and their families. Biden also promises to end mass workplace raids and prevent enforcement actions and operations at sensitive locations including schools, hospitals, and places of worship.

With regard to the influx of undocumented immigration from Central America, the Biden administration would address the root of the problem, by securing bipartisan support and funding to countries in the Northern Triangle to help these countries tackle violence and insecurity, lack of economic opportunity, and corruption in the region.

Joe Biden’s 100-Day Plan

Within his first 100 days in office, the Biden administration commits to:

  • Immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s policies that have separated parents from children at the border, including ending prosecution of parents for minor immigration violations, and prioritizing family reunification.
  • Immediately reverse the Trump administration’s public charge rule
  • End the “national emergency” imposed by the Trump administration to enable the Department of Defense to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border
  • Protect Dreamers and their families, by reinstating the DACA program and exploring all legal options to protect families from inhumane separation
  • Restore and defend the naturalization process for green card holders by removing roadblocks to naturalization, addressing the application backlog and rejecting imposition of unreasonable fees
  • End the Trump administration’s detrimental asylum policies
  • Rescind the travel and refugee bans also known as the “Muslim bans” by the Trump administration
  • Review Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for vulnerable populations and introduce a bill that will allow TPS/DED holders who have been in the country for an extended period of time, a path to citizenship
  • End the mismanagement of the asylum system to ensure asylum applications are processing fairly and efficiently
  • Increase humanitarian resources at the border through a network of organizations including faith-based shelters, non-governmental aid organizations, legal non-profits, and other organizations
  • End prolonged detention and investment in a case management program, by supporting the Flores agreement which prevents the detention of children indefinitely
  • Restore sensible enforcement prioritizes targeting threats to public safety and national security, and not workers and their families

To read more about Joe Biden’s proposed policies on immigration please click here.

Source: Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Immigration?


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