Sunday, July 7, 2019

Breaking News: Dog Bites Man

**Snowflake Alert**  I use the term illegal aliens.  I don't use terms like undocumented worker  or other euphemisms that try to normalize their status.  If that bothers you, stop reading now.

Furthermore, I understand and sympathize with their reasons for coming here.  I don't hate them. But we can't take them all.  It's our country.  We have a right to make the rules on who we accept and we have the right to enforce those rules.

President Trump said something stupid the other day.  Yeah, I know.  What's so unusual about that?  That's hardly a man bites dog story.  The president is always saying something stupid.  The difference is that this time, I didn't recognize how stupid it was until I consulted my handy Pocket Constitution.

The president was giving one of his impromptu news conferences as he walked out to Marine One on the way to somewhere or other, and someone asked him about the citizenship question on the Census.  Here was the stupid part of his reply starting at the 45 second mark:

"But you need it for many reasons.  Number one, you need it for Congress, you need it for Congress, for districting, you need it for appropriations."

Fair enough I thought.  It certainly doesn't make sense to allocate Congressional seats to a constituency that can't vote, right?  But wait a minute.  What are the actual rules for allocating those seats, I wondered.  If I recall correctly, it's spelled out quite specifically in the Constitution.  Why not go to the source and see what it says?

I encourage you to keep reading, but 


If you're like me, you're not gonna like the answer.  The original description of how House seats are allocated was spelled out in Article I of the Constitution, but it was changed by Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment.  (Remember that whole 3/5 person kerfuffle in Article I, Section 2?  Yeah it's that part!)  Anyway, here's how the rules stand now:

"Amendment 14, Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State."
So you don't need to be a citizen to count toward Congressional representation.  You only have to be a person.  Nothing says you need to be a citizen or even a legal non citizen to count toward a Congressional seat.  Illegal aliens count toward House representation.  It's in the Constitution!  Yeah, I know.  It sucks right?  But it's the law.

So if you were like me, and you thought it was totally reasonable to ask about citizenship as a means to prevent a misallocation of Congressional seats, I've got some bad news for you.  Citizenship doesn't enter into it.  And neither does illegal status.  All persons count.  Who knew?  Not me, and apparently not Trump.

Now I know why liberal politicians are promoting sanctuary cities and sanctuary states.  Those illegals can't vote, not directly and not legally at least.  But they do count toward how many Congressmen those sanctuary cities and states can elect to Congress to represent THEIR interests as opposed to YOUR interests.

I used to think that these liberal politicians promoting sanctuary cities were just pandering to their minority constituents who favored more lenient policies toward illegals.  Now I realize that their motives are much more nefarious.  They've discovered a back door means of getting more clout in Congress.  Even if illegals aren't directly voting in our elections, the Constitution creates an incentive for unscrupulous pols to offer them this back door voting franchise via greater Congressional representation.  Welcoming more illegals garners your city or state more votes in Congress than they would otherwise be entitled to.

By the way, when you consider the game being played here, it puts Trump's threat to send the thousands of illegals intercepted at the border to sanctuary cities in a whole new light.  Rather than burdening those sanctuary cities with the responsibility of caring for the thousands they would welcome into their midst, the  policy would only serve to empower those sanctuary cities by enhancing their influence in Congress.  In fact, the best thing Trump could do with these thousands of newcomers would be to move them all to Red States.  At least until after the Census is complete.  How's that for irony? 

I've always opposed open borders because I thought they were not compatible with our welfare state.  I also vehemently oppose a path to citizenship for any illegals already here who, for practical reasons having to do with the sheer numbers,  we choose not to expel.  They should count themselves lucky they are just left alone, and that includes the DACA folks. But to the extent that I now view this whole sanctuary city situation as nothing more than a cynical ploy to gain more representation in Congress for policies I oppose, I find myself even less sympathetic to the status of illegal aliens in this country than I was before.  Even if illegal aliens are not voting in any appreciable numbers, a concession I make ONLY for the sake of argument, they still represent a potential distortion in make-up of the House of Representatives.  That is no small thing.

(BTW, there's nothing in the Constitution that says you need to be a citizen to vote either.  The second paragraphs of both Articles I and II say the individual States get to decide who qualifies to vote.  But that's a discussion for another day)