FILE - ICE arrest, immigration, sanctuary city

In this Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, foreign nationals are arrested during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens.

“If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”

– Margaret Thatcher

The United States is currently experiencing the largest sustained wave of immigration in its history. There are over 1.5 million legal and illegal immigrants settling in the country each year. The foreign born or immigrant population according to the 2000 Census was well over 31 million, and the total had grown to 36 million by the end of 2005. There has long been a disconcerting tendency to view immigration one dimensionally. Some in the GOP consider illegal immigrants a fiscal problem and possible terrorists. The left sees them as potential voters and their future voting base.

All of these perspectives capture some aspect of immigration. But immigrants are much more than this. Immigrants are not simply things, they are human beings. As a result of their presence in the U.S., it has wide-ranging economic, cultural, demographic, national security, and political effects on our country. Whether one thinks the effects of immigration is on balance, a net gain or a net loss to America, the fact remains: its impact is very broad and not a single perspective. And the one area that affects each one of us is the one few people think, know or even care about: representation.

The issue of representation at the Constitutional Convention was so contentious it almost cost us the Constitution. Delegates from large states demanded representation in proportion to population. The smaller ones with less population argued such a compact would lead to unfair dominance for larger states. They said it was either equal representation or no deal at all. Agitated delegates from both sides of the aisle vowed to reject the document if they didn’t get their way. Fisticuffs broke out, and Gouverneur Morris even challenged Elbridge Gerry to a dual when he hinted at compromising.

When Luther Martin of New York and others told Washington they were going home, Roger Sherman of Connecticut offered to combine the New Jersey and Virginia plans and create bicameral houses.

Delegates on each side rejected this “Great Compromise” a number of times before Washington convinced enough of them to end their feuding to save the Convention. And it barely passed by a slim margin.

“Let us guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”

– George Washington

It was still not a done deal. The South rationed that slaves were part of their population? But slaves were not legal citizens, so the non-slave states abandoned their moral scruples and argued against this. To cut their losses they agreed to the dangerous precedent of a three-fifths compromise, giving the South greater representation than they were entitled to. We passed two amendments to right this wrong, but we are still counting non-citizens the same way as citizens for representation?

With the political dog fight over illegal immigration in our nation, few on the front line are making a case for the real reason why illegal immigration must be halted. This has a huge impact on the way Congress is populated and representation for American citizens. It also gives illegal immigrants a voice in the Electoral College since those votes are determined from total population, not just the legal citizens.

This abridges the representative rights of legal citizens in both Congress and the Electoral College.

A 2005 report by the Center for Immigration Studies calculating the impact of non-citizens on the distribution of seats in the House after the 2000 Census is alarming. Nine seats were given to non citizens. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Michigan, Indiana, Mississippi and Wisconsin each lost seats due to this. Montana, Kentucky and Utah each failed to gain a seat they were entitled to because they had fewer non-legals than the others. California gained six seats based on illegal immigrants. Texas, New York and Florida each gained one. This is counting the way our Constitution was written, not using common core math.

“It’s not what the Constitution says that matters but what you read into it.

– Joe Biden

Over 18 million non-citizens in the 2000 Census counted for 29 congressional seats. Yet Congress has failed to address this major flaw that disenfranchises the interests of legal American citizens in Congress. The South rigged the counting at the Convention, and the left continues to rig it against the right today. They welcome large numbers of illegal immigrants, knowing this will increase their numbers in Congress. They are keenly aware that this also gives them the advantage they need to disenfranchise the voters and the wishes of legitimate voting Americans in the Electoral College.

According to political scientist George Edwards III of Texas A&M, California has more influence in Congress and elections than any other state due to illegal residents. Census Bureau data since the 2000 count show non-citizen growth in the U.S. accelerated with Barack Obama’s expansion of federal entitlement programs. In 2005, there were 21.7 million non-citizens in America comprising 7.4 percent of the population. They predict the 2020 count will show at least a 30 percent increase. They anticipate this to continue until we pass immigration reform.

“The Democrat Party has a simple choice. They can either choose to fight for America's working class or promote illegal immigration.”

– Stephen Miller

The agreements and compromises, both good and bad, that established the U.S. Constitution and fine-tuned it with the 13th and 14th amendments clearly define representation for apportionment of seats in Congress and electoral votes according to the number of legal U.S. citizens. The intent of our Constitution was to provide a government owned and run by our legal residents and their legal representatives. Both the spirit and the intent of the Constitution are violated when Congressional seats and the number of electoral votes are determined with the inclusion of illegal U.S. residents.

Thomas Fuller said, “A stitch in time saves nine.” In 2005, Rep. Candice Miller, R-Michigan, tried to fix this flaw that dilutes the voice of legal citizens. She proposed a constitutional amendment to count only U.S. citizens for the purpose of reapportionment. This had no effect on the total head count, but would have reflected the true intent of the Census. She was crucified in committee by the left and the bill was sent to the legislative graveyard, never to be heard from again.

"It is outrageous people in our country illegally have such a profound impact on our own political system."

– Candice Miller

Representation based on population in government was the one most important component at the Constitutional Convention in 1787; and even moreso today. That is why the left is fighting any kind of immigration reform. While the right is squealing about financial impact and crime, the left is outflanking them with talk of compassion and care for the unnourished poor and the mistreated illegal workers and their children crossing our borders each day. As their allies in the media continue to defend this, the right just gripes, moans and cries elephant tears as they lose representation daily.

Although this problem doesn’t garner headlines, our failure to fix this will be the defining issue that transforms America into a socialist banana republic instead of the republican nation gifted to us by our founders. Since he took office, all efforts by Donald Trump to fix this have been publicly scorned by the far left.

“The liberties of our country and freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”

– Samuel Adams

Contributing Columnist

William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.