Trump Makes Another Big Census Move

Orders undocumented immigrants to be excluded when determining congressional representation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2020 2:15 PM CDT
Trump Takes Another Shot at Restricting Census Count
An envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a Detroit resident.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

President Trump, apparently undaunted by the failure of last year's effort to add a citizenship question to the census, is taking another shot at narrowing its definition of "persons." In a memo issued Tuesday, Trump called for undocumented immigrants to be excluded from the count when determining congressional reapportionment—the redistribution of House seats based on population changes, reports the AP. "Respect for the law and protection of the integrity of the democratic process warrant the exclusion of illegal aliens from the apportionment base," the memo said, per the Los Angeles Times. The move is expected to face immediate court challenges—and since two-thirds of US households have already responded to the census, which did not include a citizenship question, it's not entirely clear how the order could be enforced.

NBC News reports that, per the memo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is instructed to supply Trump with data on undocumented immigrants so that the president can subtract that number from the census tally provided by officials. On Tuesday, Trump accused the "radical left" of trying to "conceal the number of illegal aliens." Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution calls for an "actual Enumeration" of "all persons" living in the country. The Supreme Court blocked Trump's attempt to add a citizenship question last year, calling the administration's reasoning "contrived." The census count determines the number of congressional districts per state, as well as the distribution of around $675 billion in federal funding. (Neil Young, who moved to the US illegally in 1966, finally became a citizen this year.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.