State Apportionment And Illegal Immigration: Time To Stop

State Apportionment And Illegal Immigration: Time To Stop

By Dean Riesen (The Center Square) |

As a border state, Arizona has confronted the consequences of illegal immigration for decades. A not-often-discussed constitutional loophole is making this challenge perpetually harder to resolve. 

Counting illegal aliens as citizens, as outlined in the 14th Amendment, leads to the over-allocation of seats to the dominant party in districts with large illegal populations. Democrats benefit from this, which may be why they don’t seem interested in solving the border crisis.

To analyze this, we can examine the districts where there is a high concentration of illegal immigrants and compare the number of registered voters in those districts to the ones where there are very few illegal immigrants. The districts with more illegal immigrants will likely have a significantly lower number of total voters compared to the ones with fewer illegal immigrants.

This is covered in detail in Howard Husock’s Citizenship and Congressional Districting in National Affairs-Fall 2023.  He shows how congressional district voting totals vary widely for districts that are supposed to be equal, as in equal representation but aren’t. 

In the 2022 Congressional Election, Jim Jordan’s Ohio 4th District had 290,156 votes, with 69.2% in his favor, while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s New York 14th District had 118,062 votes, with 70.6% supporting her. Interestingly, Jordan’s district had 146% more votes cast than AOC’s, despite being equal in size. It’s interesting to note that Jordan’s district is 99.1% U.S. citizens, and AOC’s is only 76.4% U.S. citizens (source: Data USA).

How is this possible?  Due to the drafting of both the U.S. Constitution and the 14th Amendment, the courts have determined that for the apportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives, we must count all the “persons” residing in a state. The drafters likely had no idea that their words would be used to give political power to individuals who are not citizens and, in many cases, are breaking the law by even being in the U.S.  Nothing short of a constitutional amendment will solve this problem on a federal level.

What about the states?

Arizona may adopt counting resident U.S. citizens for apportioning districts for state offices.  Most states count all persons for apportioning state legislatures, including illegal immigrants, which can significantly affect seat allocation. By counting only residents of the U.S., Arizona could have a more accurate representation.

In the 2022 Arizona State Senate election, Republicans won 17 out of 32 districts, while Democrats won 15. If the theory is correct, Democrat districts should average a significantly lower number of total votes than Republican districts because most illegal aliens tend to live in Democrat majority districts. They are counted in the census, even though they are not U.S. citizens, and therefore, they are counted for purposes of apportionment.

In fact, the differences in voting population have been proven. The Democrat-winning districts have an average number of voters of 54,310, with a range of 25,626-123,321 total voters. The Republican-winning districts have an average total number of voters of 91,260, with a range of 59,471 to 133,510 total voters. The overall average total number of voters in a state senate district is 78,123. The average Republican-won district’s total number of votes is 68% greater than the average Democrat-won district’s total number of votes.  These figures are prima facie proof of the theory. 

Two U.S. Supreme Court decisions are of particular interest to state reapportionment.  In 2016, the court decided Evenwel v. Abbott, which found a state (Texas) could not be forced to use a method, in this case voter-eligible population, to apportion its state legislative seats. The court ruled that the total population of persons was an acceptable method as it is the same method used by the U.S. House of Representatives and certainly met the court’s one-person, one-vote standard articulated in Reynolds v. Simms (1964).

In the Evenwel case, the plaintiffs failed to prove that the state’s method of counting the total population of persons violated the one person, one vote principle. The court clarified that the total population of persons was not the only basis for apportionment. Justice Ginsburg’s opinion indicated that it may not be the only method the court would accept for state legislative apportionment.  Justice Alito’s concurrence vehemently disagreed with the Solicitor General’s argument that state legislative districts must be equal in total population, even if it resulted in grossly unequal districts in the number of eligible voters, particularly because of the illegal alien concentration in certain parts of the state.  Alito called it a meretricious argument, “apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity-according to Oxford Languages.”

In 1966, the Court decided in Burns v. Richardson that Hawaii’s apportionment based on registered voters was valid. The state used registered voters because of the large number of tourists and non-resident military members. The Court clarified that the equal protection clause doesn’t require using total population figures from the census. It suggested that in Hawaii’s case, the state-resident U.S. citizen population would be more appropriate. While the court allowed the use of registered voters, it indicated that state citizen population was the best method. The court also noted that the distribution of registered voters approximates the distribution of state citizens or another permissible population base.

Arizona may change its constitution to use the US resident population for apportionment in state offices. Other states should consider doing the same.

Originally published by The Center Square.

Dean is Chairman of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.

Reps. Biggs, Crane Fail To Convince Colleagues To Impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas

Reps. Biggs, Crane Fail To Convince Colleagues To Impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas

By Corinne Murdock |

Reps. Andy Biggs (R-05) and Eli Crane (R-02), along with other House Republicans, failed to convince their colleagues to impeach Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the border crisis.

Biggs asserted that Mayorkas was in violation of the separation of powers, citing the secretary’s inaction on the removal of over one million illegal immigrants eligible for deportation, and neglect of Title 8.

“That has resulted in great injury to our communities, and that is why he must be impeached, because he falls within the definition of one of the Founders, James Iredell said, and he’s right on the money,” said Biggs.

Despite the number of illegal immigrant crossings and drug trafficking reaching unprecedented record highs under President Joe Biden, Mayorkas has maintained that the border crisis originated from decades of congressional inaction rather than the policy of this current administration.

Mayorkas and other Democratic leaders support the $118 billion Senate bill described as a border bill, though a majority of the funding goes to Ukraine and other countries.  

Lawmakers opposed to the bill pointed out its increased leniency for illegal immigration, such as a provision allowing those who either make it over 100 miles or remain longer than 14 days in the country to avoid deportation. The bill also would create a new, nonimmigrant visa subcategory enabling noncitizens to visit family members, as well as removing illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico or Canada out of total encounters.

The bill also included another $60 billion for Ukraine, while providing just over $20 billion for the border, over $14 billion for Israel, $10 billion in humanitarian aid, over $6 billion for a variety of over projects, nearly $5 billion for the Indo-Pacific, and over $2 billion for the Red Sea conflict. 

President Joe Biden claimed the bill wasn’t perfect: not because it didn’t close the border more for illegal immigration, but because it didn’t go far enough to grant citizenship for those illegal immigrants within the country.

Some lawmakers have argued that Mayorkas would ignore limited enforcement measures passed.

During Tuesday’s debate on Mayorkas’ impeachment, Crane accused the secretary of that very inaction on immigration enforcement.

“How many Americans have to die of fentanyl, MS-13 gang members, having their kids raped and murdered?” asked Crane. “It’s high time that [Mayorkas] be held accountable for his complete dereliction of duty at our southern border.” 

Rep. Greg Stanton (D-04), in a joint statement with the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), called the impeachment a “sham,” and blamed Republicans for the state of the border. 

Three Republicans — Reps. Ken Buck (CO), Mike Gallagher (WI), and Tom McClintock (CA) — joined Democrats in defeating the impeachment measure, 214-216. 

However, House GOP leadership say that Tuesday’s vote wouldn’t be the last attempt at impeaching Mayorkas. A spokesman for House Speaker Mike Johnson (LA) said he plans to whip more votes.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Hobbs Claims Both Parties To Blame For Border Crisis

Hobbs Claims Both Parties To Blame For Border Crisis

By Corinne Murdock |

Gov. Katie Hobbs says that both parties are to blame for the worsening state of the border crisis.

During a weekend visit to the border in Lukeville, Hobbs called for an increase in bipartisan action to solve the torrent of illegal immigration that prompted the recent, sudden closure of the Lukeville Port of Entry. 

“I’m not afraid to stand up to politicians on either side who aren’t doing what’s in the best interests in Arizona,” said Hobbs. “Now is not the time for partisan politics, it’s time for action.”

Hobbs repeated her earlier commitment to obtain reimbursement from the Biden administration for current and future state expenditures to handle the border crisis: over $512.5 million so far. 

“Arizona has borne the brunt of federal inaction on our southern border for far too long,” said Hobbs.

Last Friday, Hobbs reversed course on sending the National Guard to the border, spending up to $5 million to do so.

The governor also announced the establishment of a new office within the Arizona Department of Homeland Security — Operation Safety, Enforcement, Coordination, & Uniform Response (SECURE) — using $2 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. 

As part of the increased action on the border, Hobbs sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to reassign over 200 Tucson Sector National Guard members to the Lukeville Port of Entry.

“Border security is a top priority of mine,” said Hobbs. “As long as I’m Governor, I will do everything I can to keep Arizonans safe — even when the federal government fails to act.”

Hobbs’ weekend visit and letter to the Biden administration marked the first major move for the governor to stymie the worsening border crisis.

The first month of the 2024 fiscal year, October, marked another record high in southern border encounters: nearly 241,000, an almost 10,000-person increase from October 2022 (the first month of the 2023 fiscal year) and a 76,000-person increase from October 2021 (the first month of the 2022 fiscal year). 

Under Biden, there have been over 6.6 million encounters with illegal immigrants along the southern border. That’s more than the terms of former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump combined — over a decade of encounters.

Under Trump, there were over 2.3 million encounters. Under both of Obama’s terms, there were over 3.3 million encounters. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Gov. Hobbs Reverses Course, Plans To Send National Guard To Border

Gov. Hobbs Reverses Course, Plans To Send National Guard To Border

By Corinne Murdock |

Gov. Katie Hobbs has reversed course on her decision to send the National Guard to the border.

On Friday, Hobbs announced the plans to deploy the National Guard through Operation Safety, Enforcement, Coordination, & Uniform Response (SECURE): a new mobilization effort of additional state resources to mitigate the burgeoning border crisis. Operation SECURE will house a new Department of Homeland Security division, the Border Security Office, using $2 million from the state’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal funding. 

Should the Biden administration continue the closure of the Lukeville Port of Entry, the governor directed the state to spend up to $5 million to mobilize the National Guard. In the corresponding press release, Hobbs criticized the Biden administration’s closure of the port of entry as the direct cause of “an unmitigated crisis” that endangered the state’s communities and commerce. 

Hobbs warned that the Biden administration has placed Arizona at a “breaking point.”

“Our ports of entry are vital for security and trade, and insufficient resources hinder our ability to properly manage the influx of migrants who have continued to come to Lukeville,” said Hobbs. “We need the federal government to step up, do its job, and bring security and order to our border.”

Hobbs also submitted a letter to President Joe Biden on Friday requesting the reassignment of just over 200 Tucson Sector National Guard members to the Lukeville Port of Entry as well as the assignment of National Guard members elsewhere in the nation to reopen the port of entry. 

“For far too long, Arizona has continued to bear the burden of federal inaction in managing our southern border,” said Hobbs. 

Hobbs also requested the reimbursement of the over $512.5 million the state has spent under Biden on migrant transportation, drug interdiction, and law enforcement. In her press release announcing Operation SECURE, Hobbs promised to seek reimbursements of border crisis mitigation on a regular basis.

“The federal government must act immediately to solve the unmitigated crisis caused by the Lukeville Port of Entry closure,” said Hobbs. 

The governor also disclosed to reporters earlier this week that she would visit the area on Saturday to assess the situation. Hobbs is scheduled to travel with Arizona National Guard Adjutant General Kerry Muehlenbeck.

Hobbs’ decision to deploy the National Guard marks a turnaround from her perspective on Monday, when she felt that the troops weren’t warranted since the border communities hadn’t asked for them. 

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the closure of the Lukeville Port of Entry last Friday. CBP attributed the closure to the need for more personnel due to the ever-worsening state of the border crisis.

“In response to increased levels of migrant encounters at the Southwest Border, fueled by smugglers peddling disinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals, CBP is surging all available resources to expeditiously and safely process migrants,” said CBP. 

Scenes from the border reveal that around 1,000 illegal immigrants on any given day — mostly single, military-age men — await alongside the border for processing and transportation after illegally crossing into the U.S.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to CBP as Customs and Border Patrol. The story has been corrected and now refers to CBP as Customs and Border Protection.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to