"Most Americans know that their representation in the US House of Representatives is based on proportional representation as determined by the decennial Census. And, many Americans are aware that the Census takers try to count everybody residing in the country. But, most Americans don't make the connection that illegal immigrants and other foreigners who aren't legal permanent residents are part of the calculation for the apportionment of Congressional representatives. If the population of illegal aliens and other long-term foreign residents were inconsequential, this wouldn't be an important issue. However, with 18.5 million more persons counted in the 2000 Census than the number of US citizens, this is a valid major concern.
Because illegal aliens shouldn't even be in the country and other nonimmigrants such as foreign students and guest workers are here only temporarily, it makes no sense to distribute Congressional seats as if these foreign nationals deserved representation the same as American citizens.
The US population that logically should be enumerated includes US citizens and legal permanent residents (immigrants). As only the former may vote in federal elections, the apportionment of seats in Congress should be done on the basis of the number of citizens in each state. 1 Apportionment of federal funds should be based on the number of citizens and legal residents of each state.
Some federal funding programs provide compensation to the states based on mandated expenditures for foreign residents, i.e., emergency medical care, incarceration, English language learning. The number and identity of these non-citizen users of these services is appropriately collected by the service provider and should be provided to the federal government as a condition precedent to receiving any distribution of federal funds.
On the basis of the current Census questionnaire, however, there's no way to determine if a foreign resident is legally or illegally in the country."