California Democrats are worried: Counting illegal immigrants

immigrantsWall

California could lose a seat in the House of Representatives and some Congressional districts could lose population if the millions of illegal immigrants living in the state, which has the largest number of illegal immigrants by far, aren’t counted in the 2020 census.

Oddly enough, California could improve its chances of holding onto that seat if more illegal immigrants come to the state and are counted in the census. Maybe that plays a part in California’s decision to be a Sanctuary State.

The U.S. Census Bureau attempts to count all persons in the U.S. living in residential structures, including prisons, dormitories and similar “group quarters” in the official decennial census. People counted must include citizens, legal immigrants, non-citizen long-term visitors and illegal (or undocumented) immigrants.

This approach was endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2016 in EVENWEL ET AL. v. ABBOTT, GOVERNOR OF TEXAS, ET AL, where the Court rejected counting just eligible voters in determining legislative districts.

Efforts in Congress to change this approach have failed to date.

Accordingly, a low number of illegal immigrants counted by the Census in one state may result in that state losing some representation in Congress while high illegal immigration into another state that is counted in the Census can enlarge that state’s representation.

A research report by Election Data Services released Dec. 26, 2017, concluded, “…California is very close to actually losing a congressional seat in 2020, the first time that state will have lost a seat in its nearly 160-year history.” It could lose the seat because “for the last several decades California’s population growth has been relatively flat when compared to other states.”

That makes it even more important to Democrats that everybody is counted. Democrats are worried that if foreign immigration into California slows under Trump, and legal and illegal immigrants don’t step up in the 2020 census, that could hold down the state’s total population count and the count in individual Congressional districts.

Oregon could gain a seat

The Election Data Services report also concluded that, based on new Census Bureau population estimates for 2017 released on Dec. 26, 2017, 12 states clearly will be affected by changes in their congressional delegation if the new numbers were used for apportionment today.

New York, West Virginia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania are projected to lose a seat in Congress using the new data.

On the other hand, Oregon is projected to gain a House seat, as well as Colorado, Florida and North Carolina. Texas will gain two seats based on the new data.

Since 1941, by law the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives has been capped at 435, so if a given state gains a House seat then another state must lose one.

 

NOTE: For more discussion on counting illegal immigrants in the U.S. Census, see Constitutionality of Excluding Aliens from the Census for Apportionment and Redistricting Purposes, Congressional Research Service Report.

 

 

 

Four Pinocchios – the gender pay gap

In an aggressive attempt to turn attention away from other issues less favorable to them as the midterm elections approach, Obama and the Democrats are yet again trying to generate some return from their “war on women” mantra. This time they’re highlighting with carefully choreographed actions what they insist is gender pay inequity.

On Wednesday, the Senate fell short on the number of yeas to move forward on the so-called “Paycheck Fairness Act”. Bluntly revealing the political nature of the entire effort, Democrats leaped at the opportunity to send out a fundraising solicitation bemoaning the loss within minutes of the vote.

Image

Obama routinely cites U.S. Census data showing that the average full-time female worker earned 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. (The U.S. Department of Labor says women in full-time jobs earn 81 cents for every dollar men earn.)

But the pay situation is not quite as simple as Obama and his Democratic colleagues say. Today the New York Times featured a story on the issue: Democrats Use Pay Issue in Bid for Women’s Vote, making that point.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) makes the same point in its annual report, “Highlights of women’s earnings in 2012”: “In 2012, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $691. On average in 2012, women made about 81% of the median earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers ($854).” That appears to support Obama’s assertions.

But every “full-time” worker, as the BLS notes, is not the same: Men were almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week, and women almost twice as likely to work only 35 to 39 hours per week. Once that is taken into consideration, the pay gap begins to shrink. Women who worked a 40-hour week earned 88% of male earnings.

Then there is the issue of marriage and children. The BLS reports that single women who have never married earned 96% of men’s earnings in 2012.

The supposed pay gap appears when marriage and children enter the picture. Child care takes mothers out of the labor market, so when they return they have less work experience than similarly-aged males.

The reality is that multiple factors affect the earnings data, including the types of jobs worked by women, the number of hours they worked, their area of specialization/college major, hours worked and the career progression of some women.

One factor affecting the pay women receive is their work/home patterns. Women who leave the workforce to care for their children at home and later return to work often find that lower wages await them than if they had kept working. A Pew Research Center study released on April 8 revealed that the share of mothers who stay home with their children has steadily risen in recent years.

According to Pew, the share of mothers who don’t work outside the home rose to 29% in 2012, up from a modern-era low of 23% in 1999.

Image

Another Pew study in 2013 found that mothers are much more likely than fathers to have reduced work hours, take a significant amount of time off, quit a job or, by a small margin, turn down a promotion in order to care for a child or family member.

Pew said today’s young women are the first in modern history to start their work lives at near parity with men. Pew pointed out, however, that there’s no guarantee that today’s young women will sustain their near parity with men in earnings in the years to come. Recent cohorts of young women have fallen further behind their same-aged male counterparts as they have aged and dealt with the responsibilities of parenthood and family.

Still, it would be wise not to ignore that while the public sees greater workplace equality between men and women now than it did 20 to 30 years ago, most believe more change is needed, the Pew Research Center notes. Among Millennial women, 75% say this country needs to continue making changes to achieve gender equality in the workplace, compared with 57% of Millennial men.

So there’s still a lot of work to do.