Do undocumented foreign nationals have an impact on US presidential elections?

When it comes to how the US elects a president, do undocumented foreign nationals (also commonly called illegal aliens) have an impact on the number of electoral votes a state has in presidential elections?

Do you know how the process works? It’s tied to the US Census.

Electoral college process

The US Government provides a video explaining the electoral college process for electing a president. (Snip: Federal Register/US Government)

It doesn’t really matter whether the foreign national comes and goes as many do. It matters how many people are at a residence when the US Census is taken.

The system actually encourages states to increase their populations by any means possible.

Start with how congressional seats are apportioned according to the US Census:

“The apportionment calculation is based upon the total resident population (citizens and non-citizens) of the 50 states. In the 2010 Census, the apportionment population also includes U.S. Armed Forces personnel and federal civilian employees stationed outside the United States (and their dependents living with them) that can be allocated, based on administrative records, back to a home state. This is the same procedure used in 2000.”

This includes:

“[A]ll people (citizens and noncitizens) [including “undocumented residents (aliens)”] with a usual residence in the 50 states are to be included in the census and thus in the apportionment counts.”

Census further specifies:

“The Census Bureau collects data from all foreign born who participate in its censuses and surveys, regardless of legal status. Thus, unauthorized migrants are implicitly included in Census Bureau estimates of the total foreign-born population, although it is not possible to tabulate separate estimates of unauthorized migrants or any other legal status category.”

[and]

“The U.S. Census Bureau uses the term foreign born to refer to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen at birth. This includes naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (immigrants), temporary migrants (such as foreign students), humanitarian migrants (such as refugees and asylees), and persons illegally present in the United States.”

These counts impact the Electoral College process:

“The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators.”

The federal government provides a breakdown of the number of Electoral Votes each state casts.

Now consider the six states with the largest share of undocumented foreign nationals, according to Pew Research in 2015: California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. Those states have 60 percent of the undocumented foreign nationals in the country.

Of those six states, Democrats won 5—all except for Texas—in the 2012 presidential election.

Obviously, the practice of counting individuals who may not even want to become citizens is beneficial to states eager to increase their power within the federal sphere. Politicians routinely pander to undocumented foreign national advocacy groups because it increases their state’s clout.

The current electoral allocation gives California 55 electoral votes, more than any other state. These allocations are in effect through the 2020 presidential election. California alone, according to a Pew study conducted in 2012, had “an estimated 2.4 million unauthorized immigrants in 2012, about one-in-five (22%).” For comparison, consider this. Before the Democrat president Lyndon B. Johnson and his fellow Democrat Ted Kennedy pushed through the so-called “chain migration law” in 1965, California had 32 electoral votes. That law is commonly believed to have “changed the face of America.” Just as politicians do today, politicians of that day lied about the impact of the changes.

The undocumented foreign born have a direct impact on the election of a US president. There is no way to tell how many non-US citizens actually vote in elections in many states. The federal form used to register doesn’t require proof of citizenship, and the Supreme Court has upheld a federal court’s decision refusing states the right to ask for such.

If you have a driver’s license for ID, and you claim you are a US citizen, you are able to vote. Thus your legal vote, whether you’re a native born or an immigrant who legally became a citizen, can easily be canceled by someone who isn’t even a legal voter. Democrats have routinely opposed even requiring a photo ID to vote.

Leftists claim the current model is not a problem. Realists know it is a loophole the party of the left is keenly aware of and can exploit.

(Analysis by Kay B. Day/March 18, 2016)

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About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.

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