Republicans Pass Controversial Citizenship Bill

Photo by Darren Halstead on Unsplash

( – On Wednesday, House Republicans passed a bill to include a citizenship question in the upcoming U.S. census.

No Democrats voted in favor of the bill, called the Equal Representation Act, which had been led by Republican Rep. Chuck Edwards (North Carolina).

Beyond the inclusion of the citizenship status, the bill excludes non-U.S. citizens from being included in a state’s population count, which would affect how many House of Representative seats a state gets and the number of electors.

During the bill’s debate session, Edwards noted that “commonsense” meant only U.S. “citizens should be counted,” but that recently, illegal immigrants had also been tallied in the number of seats in the House of Representatives a state receives, and the electoral votes each state gets during a Presidential election.

Edwards noted that given how disproportionately the population of illegal immigrants is distributed in the country, “American citizens in some states” had lost their Congressional representation to “illegal aliens in other states.”

Adding a citizenship question to the U.S. isn’t a novel idea. 

Former President Donald Trump attempted to have it included in the 2020 census, a move that the Supreme Court blocked.

Speaking out against the bill ahead of Wednesday evening’s vote, Democratic Rep. Nanette Barragan (California), who chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, stated the bill would “deprive tens of millions of immigrants” a right to representation and could negatively affect participation in the census.

Barragan claimed that the census’ accuracy would be “destroyed.”

However, Republican Rep. Clay Higgins (Louisanna), who supports the bill, stated that the bill wouldn’t affect the purpose of the census, which is to count U.S. citizens.

Instead, he highlighted Democrats didn’t support the bill given the number of immigrants now living in the U.S. under President Joe Biden.

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