President Donald Trump made some huge waves this week when he announced his new plan that would exclude undocumented or illegal aliens from being counted in the apportionment of congressional representation. On Tuesday, President Trump announced that he had just signed over a memorandum to the Secretary of Commerce, directing that only US citizens and resident aliens be counted for redistricting purposes.
According to the President, “Today’s action to exclude illegal aliens from the apportionment base reflects a better understanding of the Constitution and is consistent with the principles of our representative democracy. My Administration will not support giving congressional representation to aliens who enter or remain in the county 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.”
Last year, Trump made a promise to the American people that he would discover the real population of our country and how many actual citizens it contains. And now, after a long battle, he has finally made some headway.
Initially, our president tried to determine the percentage of citizenship within our borders by adding a question about citizenship to the recently passed 2020 census. However, he received much blow black for that decision, with many claiming that adding such an item would not only be racist but would discourage those who are illegal to take the census out of fear of legal consequences. This would, in turn, change the number of persons counted in the census and could even cause some areas to lose both funding and representation in our nation’s capital.
Naturally, the battle was a heated one, and so was brought before the Supreme Court.
There is was ruled that while the question was entirely constitutional and could, in fact, be added, it had to be done for the right reasons. And according to the judges, the reason given was not either believable or good enough. So the possibility of the added census question was rejected, for now.
As it was found to be constitutional, the Court tossed the case back to the lower courts for a ruling or until a better reason could be made for it. However, by this time, the deadline to have the final version of the census left the Administration little time to create a new case. And so the project was set aside.
But that doesn’t mean that Trump had forgotten about his promise to America or his desire to see that our nation be accurately represented.
Now, as I am sure you are aware, the purpose of the census is not just to count how many people live in the United States. Instead, it used to figure out, based on population numbers, how much federal funding and representation each congressional district should receive. This makes it possible for states that have higher populations, but not always a substantial land mass, to be equally and fairly represented in Washington.
And so after each census, the Census Bureau reapportions or redistricts each area based on the population there. If the number of residents has increased substantially, then that area receives more representation and vice versa.
This makes Trump’s recent decision one of great controversy and contestation, as some states or districts could potentially lose a significant number of representatives in Washington if the illegal population is no longer counted. While most states and districts won’t be affected at all, democratically run states like California and New York stand to lose the most, as they have some of the highest populations of illegal immigrants in the nation.
And naturally, Democrats in those districts are none too happy about the order. In fact, some have already made efforts to oppose the action claiming there will be legal ramifications for such an order.
However, it is essential to note here, contrary to many people’s claims, this action was not an executive order. It was a memorandum, which means it can’t merely be rescinded or erased, even once Trump leaves the White House. Instead, the Administrative Procedures Act must be followed to change any part of it.
And that, as those who have tried to do away with DACA, which is also a memorandum, have found out, is no easy task. Thanks to Trump’s patriotism and constant efforts to put Americans first, this will be in play for many years, if not decades.