Thursday, January 2, 2020

Immigration and Political Power

(Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)
Many skeptics of immigration fear that it moves the country’s political center of gravity leftward. This is usually in the context of immigrants voting disproportionately for Democrats, which they do because of their greater preference for left-of-center policies (as this exhaustive analysis of survey data shows).
Immigration also helps the Left by exacerbating social problems (such as the lack of health insurance or stagnating wages for less-skilled workers) that the Left then points to as the rationale for more statism. (I discussed that here.)
But perhaps the most immediate political effect of immigration is on the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives (and, therefore, of electoral votes). States with a disproportionate share of immigrants — most of them blue — have more political power in Washington than they would otherwise have without immigration.
With the 2020 census only a few months away, my colleagues Steven Camarota and Karen Zeigler decided to look at what the cumulative effect of immigration on the apportionment of House seats is likely to be once the census results are in.
This matters because there’s a fixed number of seats in the House of Representatives and thus a fixed number of electoral votes. (The number of House seats was set by law in 1911.) After each census, House seats and electoral votes are reshuffled among the states based on which ones saw their populations grow and which didn’t.
Our study found that the presence of all immigrants (naturalized citizens, legal residents, and illegal aliens) and their U.S.-born minor children is responsible for a shift of 26 House seats. Twenty-four of those seats come from states that voted for President Trump in 2016. Ohio will have three fewer seats than it would have had without immigration; Michigan and Pennsylvania, two fewer seats each. California will have 11 more seats than it would have had without immigration; New York and Texas, four more each.
Read the rest from Mark Krikorian HERE.

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