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Archived: Republicans Try Redistricting Tactics to Gain Even More Power

Republicans are at it yet again, trying to play with numbers to gain even more power. There is a push led by none other than Iowa Rep. Steve King to disregard undocumented immigrants in the 2020 census. According to King, “The current policy under which illegal aliens are counted in the census allows areas with many illegal aliens to elect more federal and state representatives than areas with higher populations of citizens.”

Earlier this year the Trump Administration announced that the 2020 census for the first time in 68 years will include a question about citizenship and they just piggy backed that with a congressional hearing on June 1 to consider not counting undocumented immigrants in the census.

The obvious perk for the far right to do this would be to eliminate blocs of people from urban areas that tend to go blue, thus cutting the number of representatives they will have in D.C. This would be unprecedented even in Trump’s America.

In the days when only white men were allowed to vote the census still took women and people of color, even slaves, into account. This move will give even more power to white upper class districts by giving them a disproportionate amount of representatives plus more votes in the electoral college just in the nick of time for Trump’s bid for a second term.

King, who endorsed the measure, said, “We need to be counting citizens instead of people for the purposes of redistricting,”

In a 2016 Supreme Court case Evenwel v. Abbott, a major precedent was set that states should draw legislative maps based on total population, not the number of citizens in a district. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the unanimous vote, stating, “It remains beyond doubt that the principle of representational equality figured prominently in the decision to count people, whether or not they qualify as voters.”

Why is the census so important to our lawmakers The numbers decide where $675 billion in federal funding is allocated to states and localities. This is so vital to their job. Why is the GOP righting it The liberals think the motive behind this motion is very simple… “What we’re talking about here is simply power,” Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen from Tennessee said at Friday’s hearing, “and the power would go to states that don’t have as many immigrants.”

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