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.”