Lummis, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to End Counting of Illegal Immigrants in Determining Electoral College Votes and Congressional District Apportionment

January 30, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) joined Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and 19 of her colleagues in introducing the Equal Representation Act which ensures only legal citizens are factored into the count for congressional districts and the Electoral College map that determines presidential elections. The current method of counting illegal immigrants for purposes of representation serves as a perverse incentive for open borders to boost the political power of sanctuary states and negatively impacts our nation’s most rural states including Wyoming.  

This legislation comes after a congresswoman openly called for more illegal immigration to her New York Congressional district because she “needs more people in her district for redistricting purposes.” 

“The current crisis at our border has made even Wyoming a border state—and the sanctuary states housing illegal aliens in gymnasiums, schools and other shelters aim to benefit greatly if this problem continues through the census,” said Lummis. “Wyoming communities already struggle to access federal funds and rewarding larger sanctuary states like New York—which already has 26 House seats— for unlawfully harboring illegal aliens will only exacerbate current federal funding disparities at the expense of the hardworking people of Wyoming. We cannot allow these states to pad their population numbers due to their radical immigration policies, which is why I joined Senator Hagerty in introducing the Equal Representation Act to lessen the rural-urban divide and protect our rural states from further harm due to this administration’s open border policies.”

Currently, illegal immigrants are counted for congressional district apportionment and, therefore, Electoral College votes. For example, in a state like California, millions of illegal alien residents result in California taking several more congressional seats and Electoral College votes than the states’ population of legal citizens would justify. In other words, being a magnet for illegal immigration increases the power of a Californian’s vote relative to an individual in another state with less population boost from illegal immigration. This creates an incentive to encourage illegal immigration and resettlement to increase political power.

Since President Biden took office, 9.1 million illegal immigrants have entered America. 

The Equal Representation Act:

  • Requires that the Census Bureau include a citizenship question on any future census to provide a greater understanding of the U.S. population and delineate between citizens and non-citizens for apportionment purposes;
  • Prohibits non-citizens from being counted for purposes of congressional district and Electoral College apportionment; and
  • Requires that the Census Bureau publicly report on certain demographic data.

Full text of the bill can be found here.