White House ‘strongly opposes’ GOP push to stop non-citizens being counted on census

The White House "strongly opposes" an effort in Congress to place a citizenship question on the census in order to prevent non-citizens being accounted for congressional seats.

The White House says it “strongly opposes” a congressional effort to put a citizenship question on the census to prevent non-citizens being counted for congressional apportionment, warning that it would be costly and “make it more difficult to obtain accurate data.”

The Equal Representation Act has been introduced in the House and Senate and would require a citizenship question to be put on the decennial census asking whether the respondent is a citizen, a resident non-citizen or an illegal immigrant. The House was due to vote on the bill later Wednesday.

The bill would then require that the census not count those who are non-citizens for the apportionment of congressional districts. Currently, everyone who participates in the census, including resident non-citizens and illegal immigrants, is counted for redistricting.


The bill would apply to the census conducted in 2030 and comes amid concerns from Republicans that Democrats will benefit from the historic migrant crisis at the southern border that has surged migrants into the U.S. and across the country — including in blue cities and states like Chicago, New York and California.

But the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a statement this week that it “strongly opposes” the bill, “which would preclude the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau from performing its constitutionally mandated responsibility to count the number of persons in the United States in the decennial census.” 

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“[The bill] would increase the cost of conducting the census and make it more difficult to obtain accurate data,” the statement said. “It would also violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which requires that the number of seats in the House of Representatives ‘be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State.…’” 


Republicans who had introduced the legislation in both chambers had argued instead that the bill would prevent U.S. votes being diluted by illegal immigrants.

“It is unconscionable that illegal immigrants and non-citizens are counted toward congressional district apportionment and our electoral map,” Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., said in January. “While people continue to flee Democrat-run cities, desperate Democrats are back-filling the mass exodus with illegal immigrants so that they do not lose their seats in Congress or their electoral votes for the presidency, hence artificially boosting their political power and in turn diluting the power of other Americans’ votes.”

“Incentivizing illegal immigration and exploiting our democracy to skew the number of congressional seats or electoral votes for the presidency is immoral and a sure path to the downfall of our nation. Only American citizens can vote, and only American citizens should be counted when determining federal representation,” Rep. Chuck Edwards, R-N.C., who introduced the bill in the House, said.

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The bill represents one of a number of measures introduced by Republicans to tackle what they fear could be the electoral consequences of the historic crisis at the border, which saw more than 2.4 million migrant encounters in FY 24, alone.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., led a press conference to introduce legislation proposed by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, that would require proof of U.S. citizenship in order to be able to register to vote in federal elections. 

Get the latest updates on the ongoing border crisis from the Fox News Digital immigration hub.

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