President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday designed to ensure that illegal immigrants are not a factor in a key function of America’s democracy.
The president drew the ire of Democrats, progressive advocacy groups, and the media with his decision, which requires that unlawful immigrants not be counted when it comes to the re-drawing of congressional districts, as Fox News reported.
Trump signs order
The census plays an important role in the drawing of legislative districts and apportioning electors in the Electoral College, as well as in determining federal funding for a range of programs.
Trump’s order would “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.” While acknowledging the existence of some ambiguity in the Constitution, which mentions ‘persons in each State,’ the order says that an “exercise of judgment” is reserved to the president to determine precisely who should be counted.
Although it ought not be controversial, Trump’s efforts to ensure that the census is fair and represents American citizens, not illegal immigrants, have provoked conflict in the past. Last summer, Trump was defeated at the U.S. Supreme Court in his efforts to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census — a move that Democrats described as a racist ploy.
It remains to be seen exactly how this new executive order would be enforced in the absence of such a question, but President Trump is vowing to uphold it nonetheless.
“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 president said.
Left denounces move
“The Constitution requires that everyone in the U.S. be counted in the census. President Trump can’t pick and choose. 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,” vowed the American Civil Liberties Union.
An immigrant advocacy group known as CASA complained that Trump wants to “chill participation from noncitizens.” (No kidding.)
There’s an obvious political calculation involved in the outrage, given the likelihood that illegal immigrants would be most likely to concentrate in metropolitan, Democratic strongholds and therefore offer a boost to the party if they were to be counted. President Trump’s executive order itself estimates that the current illegal immigrant population in California could result in two or three additional seats in Congress if included in the tally.
It’s not complicated. Put the people first. In a sane country, this order wouldn’t even be up for debate. Good decision, Mr. President.