(Updated) Trump Signs Order Targeting Undocumented Immigrants in the US Census

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum on Tuesday that would exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted in congressional districts when district lines are redrawn next year.

The memorandum marks the Trump administration’s latest effort to change the way US populations are counted and will advance the President’s immigration agenda, and, like previous efforts, is certain to end up in court.

Donald Trump stated:

“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.”

The executive order undoubtedly will face legal challenges. Amongst the many legal issues involved, the U.S. Constitution requires a count of all U.S. residents every 10 years. That count has always included citizens and non-citizen residents alike, including those with and without documentation. Any attempt to change this constitutional requirement will obviously generate numerous lawsuits.

If the courts agree that the executive order can remain and become law, the results will also frustrate future genealogists who have always depended upon census records to identify ancestors, documented and undocumented immigrants alike.

This issue should be very interesting to watch as it winds its way through the courts.

UPDATE: Court action is quick in being launched. Within minutes after Donald Trump signing the presidential memorandum on Tuesday to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted in congressional districts when district lines are redrawn next year, the American Civil Liberties Union announced plans to challenge the memo. Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in a statement:

“(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.”

15 Comments

I thought undocumented aliens meant illegal aliens. Am I wrong?

Liked by 2 people

    You are correct, Karen. And notice the effect of language. No matter what you think of him politically or otherwise, he is the President and should be given the respect of the Office, and not called by his name only.

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    Karen, you are correct. It’s kind of like calling people in jail “guests of the state.”

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Voting rights for illegal aliens — NO!

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    Speaking of the issue of language, a normal president who behaves in keeping with his high office would be afforded the respect of being addressed as Sir, Mr President, etc. However, Trump has forfeited this privilege in the way he debases the office in his own use of language. How he addresses Sen Warren, candidate and former-VP Biden, Speaker of the House Pelosi or minority leader of the Senate Schumer, for example.

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    The order has nothing to do with giving voting rights to illegal immigrants. What it would do is change the number of congressional representatives and amount of financial support (both of which are allotted based on a state’s resident population) that would ordinarily be assigned to the 50 states, to the disadvantage of “blue“ states which tend to have more undocumented” residents as compared with “red” states, and also reconfigure the electoral districts within each state to the disadvantage of urban and suburban areas where more immigrants and minorities tend to live as compared to rural areas where they are comparatively rare.

    Since each state has to pay the costs of building roads and schools and picking up the trash, etc. for *all* residents, no matter their citizenship or immigration status, and taxes are collected by the federal government from all residents, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, it is only right that population-based federal support for construction, education and other needs, should be based on the number of people resident in each state. You cannot have the garbage trucks leave the garbage Lying in the street front of homes occupied by non-ciyizens, and fire and rescue services demand to see proof of citizenship before pulling the victims of an accident from the wreckage and otherwise leaving them to die on the street. The solid citizens would soon be objecting to the stench of rotting corpses and infestations of rats attracted by all that garbage invading their own neatly-kept homes.

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The previous census did include a question on citizenship which was excluded from the current census.

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    This story is completely wrong – President Trump has never said illegal aliens should not be counted on the census. He is specifically talking about Apportionment. He correctly states that illegal aliens should not be counted for apportionment as that gives them representatives in congress by inflating the actual number of citizens and legal immigrants. That inflation increases the number of congressmen for that state and decreases that number from other states. It is also used to allocate your federal tax dollars to the states – more illegal aliens, more money to the state equal to a citizen or a legal immigrant. Factually, the census documents illegals, their origin and much more about them on every community census which is done continuously throughout American. This is not an attack on the legal immigrant community nor is it a voting rights issue, you have to be an American citizen to vote. Legal immigrants do not vote but do deserve representation, Illegal aliens legally do not have a right to either.

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But the Constitution says “all residents” not all legal residents.

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    Yes, Ruth, it certainly does say that, and the men who wrote it clearly knew the difference between “ residents” and “citizens” because in most other places they were careful to specify “citizens” when that is what they meant.

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Linda Haas made some very good points. Had the question of citizenship been left on the census, we wouldn’t be having this debate.

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    Just curious. When the census taker asked if you were a citizen or not, did you have to produce any proof?

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Please, understand that others from around the world read this newsletter and the comments, some of which written here does not reflect well on American people. IMHO I think the Founding Father’s may be rolling in their graves at what is going on and how often their words are twisted to suit the messages sent by the ‘living’ to cover what they want, not what is best for their country.

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    Dear Barbara,
    I think it is important for people from around the world, including those who live here in the United States, to understand that the Founding Fathers were not a platoon of intellectually identical twins engaged in group think, but a group of varied individuals from different cultural and intellectual backgrounds, who had many very serious disagreements with each other over what was best for their new nation, and how, exactly, it should operate Learning the history of their discussions (arguments!) has been an enlightenment. Some of their disagreements were so bitter that they resulted in men who had been comrades in revolutionary arms no longer being on speaking terms with each other (Jefferson and Adams, for example). Fortunately for us, the one north star they all passionately agreed upon was that the nation must not be allowed to fail, and their commitment to that north star allowed them to find compromises, one of which was the Apportionment Clause.
    Then, as now, the states were engaged in a power struggle, with the small states like RI and DE afraid of being constantly overruled by their more populous neighbors like VA and NY, and southern states worrying about being forced by the abolitionist tendencies of the northern states to give up their slaves. The Apportionment Clause was one of the compromises arrived at. It created a bicameral legislature, with each state being apportioned an exactly equal number of representatives in the Senate, and seats in the House of Representatives being apportioned among the states according to their population determined in the decennial census, “by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years [indentured servants] and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons [slaves].” This language was amended to remove the 3/5 clause when full citizenship was granted to former slaves after the Civil War.
    Slavery, of course, was the most glaring issue for which our Founding Fathers were unable to find any mutually acceptable compromise The best they were able to do was kick the can down the road in the hopes that their descendants would ultimately work it out, ultimately leading to the Civil War, which ended slavery, but left the former slaves still struggling to obtain the equal rights of full citizenship.
    I hope that readers from other countries will understand that we are still working things out. Right now, we’re engaged in another particularly difficult internal debate about who we are and where we’re going. We have temporarily forgotten that almost all of us are literally one sprawling and fractious family and each member of that family is entitled to be heard and have his or her concerns respectfully addressed. We need to stop wallowing in selfish demands to have everything we want, when and where we want it, everyone else be damned, and start following our ancestors’ north star so that our nation, dedicated, as described by Jefferson and Lincoln to the proposition that all men and women are created equal, will not be allowed to fail, and government of the people, by the people and for the people — *all* the people—will not be allowed to perish.

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In the past the citizenship question has been on the census. That it is not is a travesty. It is known that in today’s political climate that for some Mr Trump(the accepted address for the President) can do no right and for others no wrong, it is strange that this is posted here.

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