The Supreme Court is nearing a decision on Evenwel v. Abbott, which the issue is whether the three-judge district court correctly held that the “one-person, one-vote” principle under the Equal Protection Clause allows States to use total population, and does not require States to use voter population, when apportioning state legislative districts. This will impact how districts are drawn as currently there are millions of undocumented immigrants counted in the current system. If the Supreme Court changes current practice and rules that “one person, one vote”, it would meas that districts must be drawn according to the number of resident citizens rather than total population. The could have a significant impact on how our districts are drawn, and thus potentially shift the power landscape in Congress.
Districts with many undocumented immigrants would need to be expanded and take in more citizens in order to reach parity with their neighbors. California along with Texas and New Jersey have the largest undocumented populations according to Pew 2014 research. Odds are that these states losing districts would be mostly democratic “blue” states as they would need to expand territory to gain citizens. This could result in fewer liberal districts overall, which would not be good news for immigration reform advocates. More power would likely shift to more rural, conservative and Republican territories. If the Supreme court does in fact change the standard for “one person, one vote” to mean that only citizens should be represented, it may give the GOP a new found advantage in the drawing of these districts.
This is yet another reason for the GOP being so opposed to an easy pathway to citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants, as most of these Immigrants would certainly become Democrats rather than Republican. This “One person, One Vote” issue appears like yet another reason for a growing divide on Immigration Reform between the GOP and Democrats.