Walter Pierce

Stonecipher: Counting non-citizens threatens La. clout

by Walter Pierce

Louisiana demographer Elliott Stonecipher is warning that Louisiana stands to lose a congressional district and Electoral College votes if the 2010 United States Census counts non-citizens. In an op-ed co-authored with John S. Baker in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal, the Shreveport analyst warns that plans by the Census Bureau to count all persons in the country, including those here illegally, will disproportionately favor states like California, Arizona and Texas, which have a relatively high number of undocumented citizens. The CB, for its part, says it will count non-citizens because Congress has not directed it otherwise.

“The result will unconstitutionally increase the number of representatives in some states and deprive some other states of their rightful political representation,” Stonecipher and Baker write. “Citizens of 'loser' states should be outraged. Yet few are even aware of what’s going on.” Their projection for Louisiana is a reduction from seven to six congressional districts and a resulting redraw of districts that could dramatically affect the political landscape in the Bayou State.

According to projections of the 2010 Census by Election Data Services, states certain to lose one seat in the 2010 reapportionment are Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania; states likely (though not certain) to lose a seat are Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio could lose a second seat. But under a proper census enumeration that excluded illegal residents, some of the states projected to lose a representative—including our own state of Louisiana—would not do so.

Read the full editorial here.