President Trump signs order excluding undocumented immigrants from US census
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a presidential memorandum that would exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted in congressional districts when district lines are redrawn next year.
The memorandum marks the Trump administration’s latest effort to change the way US populations are counted and advance the President’s immigration agenda, and like previous efforts is certain to end up in court.
“I have accordingly determined that respect for the law and protection of the integrity of the democratic process warrant the exclusion of illegal aliens from the apportionment base, to the extent feasible and to the maximum extent of the President’s discretion under the law,” the executive order states.
Trump has long sought to use the US census as a way to advance his immigration priorities but the Supreme Court rejected an attempt to ask respondents if they are US citizens in 2019.
The administration, however, is allowed to collect information on citizenship status by other means.
A judge ordered the US to accept new DACA applications.
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And like the attempt to add the question onto the census, the memorandum marks yet another effort that would likely impact the balance of power in states and the House of Representatives, which are based on total population.
The courts will likely have the final say. The Constitution says congressional representation is apportioned based on “the whole Number of free Persons,” not only those who are American citizens.
“The legal problem is that the 14th Amendment says that representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons,” said Joshua Geltzer of the Georgetown University Law Center.