Trump orders that illegal aliens NOT BE COUNTED in allocating House seats under 2020 census, provoking Democrat outrage
On Tuesday, Trump instructed the Department of Commerce to “exclude illegal aliens from the apportionment base following the 2020 census,” meaning that non-citizens will not be counted in the population of those states when the number of seats in the House is next apportioned.
The action “reflects a better understanding of the Constitution and is consistent with the principles of our representative democracy,” Trump said in a statement. Giving congressional representation to aliens who enter or remain in the country illegally would “create perverse incentives and undermine our system of government.”
Just as we do not give political power to people who are here temporarily, we should not give political power to people who should not be here at all.
The census-based apportionment is mandated in Article I of the US Constitution, originally applying to “whole persons” – to exclude slaves – and later amended after slavery was abolished in 1865. According to the White House, the census has previously excluded tourists and visitors, while counting diplomats and military personnel physically overseas.
The announcement was met with howls of outrage from the opposition. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) denounced it as “flagrantly unconstitutional” and said it amounted to “another attempt by Trump to use scaremongering against immigrants [and] rig the system.”
It is flagrantly unconstitutional to exclude people from the Census count based on their immigration status. The Constitution requires that every person be counted. This is another attempt by Trump to use scaremongering against immigrants & rig the system. https://t.co/bOHZxBP6aG— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 21, 2020
The American Civil Liberties Union said the president was attempting to “weaponize the census for an attack on immigrant communities.” The last time he tried, the ACLU added, he lost in the US Supreme Court and will do so again.
BREAKING: Trump tried to add a citizenship question to the census and lost in the Supreme Court.His latest attempt to weaponize the census for an attack on immigrant communities WILL be found unconstitutional.We’ll see him in court — and win — again.— ACLU (@ACLU) July 21, 2020
Technically, the SCOTUS ran out the clock on the attempt to include a citizenship question on the census in a June 2019 ruling, when Chief Justice John Roberts said the policy itself was constitutional but sided with the liberals in wanting to see a “better rationale” for the change.
The presidential memorandum Trump sent to Commerce on Tuesday seemed to be written with that in mind, noting that “The discretion delegated to the executive branch to determine who qualifies as an ‘inhabitant’ includes authority to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status.”
Moreover, the White House press release accompanying the memo pointed out a 1992 Supreme Court decision (Franklin v. Massachusetts), which recognized executive authority in census apportionment. It also noted that the standard of residence may require “more than mere physical presence,” including “some element of allegiance or enduring tie to a place.”
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