LatinaLista — It seems there is a flipside to driving undocumented immigrants out of your state.
In the past two years, there has been an irrational vengeance by some state legislators to drive undocumented immigrants out of their states. It didn’t matter that these migrants were the main workers in industries that had little appeal to the average American worker, regardless of salary increase, or that these migrants were the only ones keeping Small Towns USA still on the map.
It didn’t matter that these same migrants were paying taxes every time they bought food, gas, clothes, furniture, etc. It didn’t matter.
All that mattered for these state legislators was to drive out a demographic labeled criminals by a faction who thrive on distorting information to create a false impression of a group of people who are impacting this country in ways that these critics don’t like.
What critics of undocumented immigrants didn’t count on was that these people had little interest in returning to their home countries, especially if they have children born here.
So, rather than stay and be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, and subjecting their friends and legal family members to the same (as in Oklahoma where it has become illegal for anyone to knowingly transport an undocumented immigrant), these migrants have left those states and just moved to other regions of the country where state legislatures aren’t as punitive.
Of course, the punitive states have said, “Good riddance.” However, preliminary reports predicting the results of the 2010 US Census count shows that driving out undocumented immigrants doesn’t bode well for congressional representation in Washington.
In a report by America’s Voice titled “The New Constituents: How Latino Population Growth will Shape Congressional Apportionment After the 2010 Census,” it was found by using existing Census data on state populations, voter registration, and voter turnout from 2000 to 2008 that Texas (+4), Arizona (+2), Florida (+1), Georgia (+1), Nevada (+1), Oregon (+1), South Carolina (+1), and Utah (+1) will all gain House seats.
Yet, Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina are among some of the most punitive states for undocumented immigrants whose laws have succeeded in driving undocumented immigrants out in just the last year.
As a result, despite the findings of the report, the possibility exists that these three states and others that have succeeded in passing punitive laws will not see a gain in House seats but may lose some.
This point is brought home in a news report by the Dallas NBC affiliate that found undocumented immigrants being driven out of Oklahoma and other states have made their way to Texas.
While there is no way to know how many illegal immigrants have come to Texas from other states, experts say the number may top 1 million.
It goes without saying that a million people, or more, impacts the Census count.
This isn’t an argument to keep from counting undocumented immigrants. It is imperative to know how many people are residing in our country in any given time.
Rather, what this shows is that the narrow minded fear that motivated these punitive actions in states like Oklahoma, Arizona and the rest actually do nothing to make those states safer, their economies stronger or their voices heard in the one legislature where it does count to have as many representatives as possible.