Amid lipstick smears and distortions from both presidential candidates, a forgotten issue that was once the biggest concern of this election cycle has largely faded from public consciousness: illegal immigration.
If John McCain really wants to distance himself from Barack Obama in
the polls, it will require yet another Maverick flip-flop. His newfound
stance on illegal immigration could help rally the conservative base and
have a direct impact on this and future elections.
Aside from the burdens posed by illegal immigrants on crime,
detention facilities, job security, taxes, wages, social security,
medicare, Medicaid, violence, terrorism and drug and human trafficking,
illegal aliens are slowly eroding the power of American voters.
Though illegal immigrants dont have an effect on the popular vote,
they are changing the electoral vote, and this change benefits Obama.
Hispanic voters historically vote Democratic, and as reported by USA
Today in July, Hispanics will become decisive swing votes in future
With the Hispanic population set to double to 30 percent by 2042
because of relatively higher birth rates and immigration and with
leaders like Obama and McCain who support amnesty for illegal aliens
this traditionally Democratic-leaning population will likely tip future
elections in favor of Democrats.
Indeed, the effects of Hispanic voters on this election are already
being felt. A Pew Research Center survey showed 66 percent of Hispanics
favored Obama to McCains 23 percent.
USA Today reported the Hispanic vote is now large enough to determine
outcomes in key battleground states, like Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada
Familial and cultural ties effectively concentrate legal and illegal
immigrants together with ethnically similar foreign-born populations.
Though this is not the only factor in the redistribution of seats in the
House of Representatives, it is a major contributor. And with 70
percent of the foreign-born population living in just six states, the
Center for Immigration Studies expects this rearrangement to continue
for decades, resulting in changes to the U.S. House of Representatives
and Electoral College.
The distribution of seats in the House is referred to as
apportionment, which is based on states total population and includes
illegal immigrants. A national census is taken every 10 years to
apportion seats in the House, but as CIS reported, the Constitution
offers no method for apportionment, nor a method for compiling total
population for apportionment. Currently, the resident population
includes illegal aliens.
Illegal immigration played a significant role in the redistribution
of seats in the past. In 1990, 12 seats were redistributed, and in 2000,
16 seats were redistributed. Louisiana was one of the states adversely
In 2000, four states either lost a seat or didnt gain a seat they
otherwise would have, and five states had one seat fewer than it
otherwise would have.
Five states actually gained seats because of illegal aliens. Nine redistributed seats went to California alone.
These non-citizens also change the landscape of the electoral map
because the Electoral College is based on the size of congressional
The Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR), which twice led
unsuccessful campaigns to remove illegal immigrants from the process of
apportionment, reported the 2004 election benefitted Kerry with a net
gain of two Electoral College votes.
Though the results were insignificant in that particular race, the
reapportionment of seats caused by illegal aliens has affected the past
two presidentil elections and will continue to do so in the future.
This doesnt mean illegal aliens are the winners. Voters living in
high-immigration districts consequently have much more influence than
those living in low-immigration districts. Because they play no part in
political life, illegals are being exploited to increase the power of
voters living in high-immigration districts. This unfairly shifts seats
from states all over the country to states mostly found in the
CIS contends that reapportionment is a zero-sum game and concludes
that excluding illegal immigrants from apportionment is highly unlikely
because of opposition from states that benefit politically from illegal
The only solution appears to be the enforcement of stronger illegal
immigration regulations. As far as apportionment reform is concerned,
that duty might fall into the hands of the aforementioned swing voters
of the future.