A Senate committee passed a resolution Thursday that would exclude non-citizens from the state’s population count when it comes to redistricting. House Joint Resolution 100, sponsored by Rep. Dean Plocher, R-St. Louis, would make it so only U.S. citizens are counted in the population used in reapportionment. While Plocher received criticism from witnesses who said the proposal treats non-citizens as unequal, he said this measure would actually encourage people to become U.S. citizens faster.
“I would love to see people become citizens, and I think the apportionment process being tied to citizenship protects the one-person, one-vote and it also encourages people not just to be permanent residents but to become U.S. citizens,” Plocher said. Plocher stressed this is not an immigration bill.
During the hearing, Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, quickly grabbed the microphone to speak against the resolution, saying non-citizens should be counted when her district is redrawn. ”They’re folks that I represent,” Walsh said.
Walsh said the path to citizenship is a “very hard path… I don’t think we can pass the test or jump through the hoops that are required by these individuals.”