Trump Signs Executive Order Banning Illegal Immigrants from Key Census Count
Major blow for Democrats as they call move 'anti-immigrant'
President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring undocumented immigrants from being included in the 2020 census, saying America should not give power “to people who should not be here at all.”
Trump said the reason for determining the number of House lawmakers from each state will be “to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status.”
The president signed the order without the presence of news media or ceremony.
“My 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,” the president said.
“This is all part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of American citizens, and I will not stand for it.”
Democrats vowed to fight the administration in court, calling the move "anti-immigrant."
House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Carolyn Maloney, said her panel would hold an emergency hearing on the census, and weigh up steps to block Trump’s action.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also criticized the order:
"The House of Representatives will vigorously contest the President's unconstitutional and unlawful attempt to impair the Census," Pelosi said in a statement.
NEW: "The House of Representatives will vigorously contest the President’s unconstitutional & unlawful attempt to impair the Census," House @SpeakerPelosi says in response to President Trump's call to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the numbers used to reapportion the House pic.twitter.com/MS1eHOM0rR— Hansi Lo Wang (@hansilowang) July 21, 2020
New York State Attorney General Letitia James also said in a written statement.
"No one ceases to be a person because they lack documentation."
"Under the law, every person residing in the U.S. during the census, regardless of status, must be counted."
Director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, Dale Ho, said the Constitution requires that “everyone in the U.S. be counted in the census.”
“President Trump can’t pick and choose,” Mr. Ho said.
“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.”
Trump later added that, by law, he makes the final determination regarding the “whole number of persons in each state,” which determines the number of representatives apportioned to each state, and sends that information to Congress.
Trump said the requirement “has never been understood to include in the apportionment base every individual physically present within a state’s boundaries at the time of the census.”
Last year, almost all House Democrats opposed a measure condemning illegal immigrants voting in the U.S. elections.
The news comes as a significant blow for Democrats as they continue to push for mail-voting citing amid health concerns because of the coronavirus.
President Donald Trump warned against what he describes as "very dangerous" mail-in voting for the upcoming 2020 election in November.
Trump plans to file a new lawsuit against voting by mail— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) June 18, 2020
READ MORE: https://t.co/HqzKhzvG53
Trump highlighted the Democrats' House spending bill, which includes funds for mail-in voting for elections held during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Voting by mail is very dangerous because people can grab them; people can take that proxy, sign a name," Trump said.
"They can do all sorts of things, especially harvesting."