Sunday, June 19, 2005

Kick them out or use the clout? | News for Dallas, Texas | Washington Columnist Todd J. Gillman: "Complaints about illegal immigration usually focus on crime, job loss or terrorism. Opponents cite strains on local hospitals and schools. But the millions of illegal aliens in Texas and other states bring a little-noticed benefit, too – political clout.

No, they can't vote. But they make a big difference when it comes time to allocate U.S. House seats.

After the last census, which found 7 million illegal immigrants nationwide, Texas got 32 seats instead of 31. New York and Florida also got one extra seat each. California got six.

Not everyone is pleased.

'I find it absolutely outrageous that people who are not in our country legally are having such a profound impact on our political system,' said Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., demanding an end to 'congressional representation for illegal aliens.'

But some Lone Star officials say the idea is pure immigrant-bashing – and an extreme case of messing with Texas.

'That's ridiculous,' said Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso. 'That's not what our country stands for.'"


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