President Donald Trump has signed a presidential memorandum according to which undocumented immigrants will be excluded from being counted in congressional districts when district lines are redrawn next year.
This memorandum is the Trump government’s latest effort to change the way the populations are counted and new rules of immigration. The matter will end up in court.
According to the international news agency, the order states, “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,”
However, The American Civil Liberties Union is planning to challenge the new order. Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, stated, “(Trump’s) 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,”
Mr. Trump has aimed to use the US census as a way to amend his immigration priorities. But the Supreme Court rejected the effort to ask respondents if they are US citizens in 2019. However, the administration is allowed to collect data in other ways.
This memorandum is another effort that would influence the balance of power in states and the House of Representatives, which are based on the total population.
The order comes as a census in the US is still taking place.
Community organizations and immigrant advocacy groups have worked for months to convince immigrants to take part in the census regardless of their immigration status. However, advocacy groups said that they are willing to administration’s latest effort to influence the count.
“The Trump administration’s action today is even more clearly unconstitutional, as they seek not just to chill participation from noncitizens, but literally to remove them from the final numbers,” immigrant advocacy group CASA said in a statement. “CASA will again fight this in court and ensure that everyone is counted in the 2020 Census.”
The court will likely issue its final statement.
“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.