On Tuesday, July 21, President Donald Trump issued an order to the U.S. Census Bureau that illegal immigrants will not be counted once seats in the House of Representatives are surrendered on the basis of each state’s population.
According to National Review, the directive involves Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross providing information that would allow the president, to the extent possible, to exclude immigrants without legal status from the population count used to divide the House seats.
“I instructed executive departments and agencies to share information with the Department of Commerce, to the extent permissible and consistent with law, to allow the Secretary to obtain accurate data on the number of citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens in the country,” explains President Trump’s memorandum.
Last year the Supreme Court filed a ruling with the Trump administration and its immigration agenda, which has since sought to inquire into the number of citizens on the census to determine their immigration status. As National Review points out, the president has met with fierce opposition from Democrats.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, announced Tuesday that the president’s moves to implement census changes would be vigorously contested.
A White House statement points that, “Giving congressional representation and political influence to illegal aliens – people who have blatantly disregarded our laws – would be a perversion of our democratic principle.”
“Allowing illegal aliens to be counted for the purpose of apportionment could also create perverse incentives – such as potentially rewarding states that encourage violations of Federal immigration law – that would undermine our system of government,” the statement said.
As Town Hall points out, Democrats are strongly opposed to a change in census policies given the widespread disadvantage of losing voters in states that have more representatives in Congress and more votes in the Electoral College.
According to former Acting Director of Immigration and Control Thomas Han, “Of course, the Democrats don’t want [that] question added to the census ‘cause — because — more illegal aliens in this country and more they are counted the more electoral votes and the more power they get — more seats in the House.”
In 2010, the number of illegal immigrants living in California, a key state for Democrats, was enough to increase their number of seats and votes in Congress and the Electoral College by at least five times the normal number.
Regarding the new order issued by President Trump, both people temporarily in the United States and those who are in the country for business or tourism are not included in the recount.
As reported by the Voice of America, the census is conducted every 10 years and as for this year’s count process, it has been extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“U.S. residents complete the census survey online or by paper questionnaire. Those who don’t respond are visited by census workers who knock on doors, seeking to reach 99% of the 140 million U.S. households,” the media outlet cited above states.