President Trump has signed an executive order that prevents undocumented immigrants from being counted in the redrawing of voting districts.
The move is expected to encounter legal challenges.
According to Fox News:
“There used to be a time when you could proudly declare, ‘I am a citizen of the United States.’ But now, the radical left is trying to erase the existence of this concept and conceal the number of illegal aliens in our country,” Trump said in a statement accompanying the apportionment memorandum on “Ensuring American Citizens Receive Proper Representation in Congress.”
“This is all part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of Americans citizens, and I will not stand for it,” he said.
The order says that for the purposes of reapportionment, “it is the policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status…to the maximum extent feasible and consistent with the discretion delegated to the executive branch.”
Census counts are used to determine the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives, the number of electors in the Electoral College and hundreds of billion dollars of federal spending. However, it is not clear how the administration would determine who was in the country illegally since the census currently does not either include a citizenship question, or the additional question about legal immigration status.
The order states that the Constitution “does not specifically define which persons must be included in the apportionment base.”
The Trump administration has been consistently pushing to not include illegal immigrants in the census.
The order specifically states that “one state” has 2.2. illegal immigrants, six percent of its population and illustrates that this could lead to an extra 2-3 seats. This portion of the order is thought to refer to California.