My guess is that Roseanne Conner would react to the census news with her trademark sarcasm, with apathy caustically expressed, or even with shock that the questionnaire doesn’t already ask respondents their citizenship status. It is simply commonsensical for the government to want to know how many people are citizens, how many are permanent legal residents, how many are temporary immigrants, how many are here illegally. And if indeed that knowledge results in changes to the distribution of money and House seats, which is by no means certain, it does not necessarily follow that Democrats would be harmed. Believe it or not, there are millions of Democrats who are, you know, American.

But Roseanne might also wonder why Democrats are so interested in directing taxpayer funds and federal representation to men and women and children who are in this country illegally—why they are placing this population, which avoided legal avenues of entry, equal to and in public emphasis ahead of the residents of Lanford, Illinois. Reasons must include the Democrats’ misguided humanitarianism and ideology of multiculturalism, the power of Hispanic activist groups within the Democratic coalition, and the Democratic interest in maintaining the status quo of low-wage workers in exchange for the promise of future electoral success. And yet none of these answers has any relation to the everyday life of the Conner family as it works, spends, saves, and scrapes to make ends meet. On the contrary, by expanding the labor pool while straining available public resources for schools, hospitals, jails, and relief, illegal immigration leaves the Conners worse off.