Jul 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump targets congressional representation for undocumented immigrants

Trump.
Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump issued a memorandum Tuesday that aims to exclude undocumented immigrants from influencing congressional apportionment determined by the 2020 Census.

Why it matters: The move is sure to provoke legal challenges. Supreme Court precedent has interpreted the Constitution as requiring congressional districts to be appointed by total population, Reuters notes.

What they're saying: In a statement, Trump claimed 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."

  • He added that the administration "will not support giving congressional representation to aliens who enter or remain in the country unlawfully, because doing so 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 other side: “The Constitution requires that everyone in the U.S. be counted in the census. President Trump can’t pick and choose," Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in a statement.

  • "He 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.”

The big picture: Trump has viewed the Supreme Court ruling which kept the Obama-era DACA program intact as license to enact new federal immigration policies without congressional approval, Axios' Alayna Treene and Stef Kight report.

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