Trump Issues EO to Keep Illegal Immigrants off the Census

Posted: Jul 21, 2020 2:55 PM
Trump Issues EO to Keep Illegal Immigrants off the Census

Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

President Trump has signed an executive order barring illegal immigrants from being counted when state officials draw congressional maps.

The president released the following statement about his decision, explaining that he is determined to keep illegals from being counted in the census.

Last summer in the Rose Garden, I told the American people that I would not back down in my effort to determine the citizenship status of the United States population. Today, I am following through on that commitment by directing the Secretary of Commerce to exclude illegal aliens from the apportionment base following the 2020 census.

There used to be a time when you could proudly declare, “I am a citizen of the United States.”  But now, the radical left is trying to erase the existence of this concept and conceal the number of illegal aliens in our country.  This is all part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of Americans citizens, and I will not stand for it.

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 country 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.

Under an Executive Order I signed last year, Federal departments and agencies have been collecting the information needed to conduct an accurate census and inform responsible decisions about public policy, voting rights, and representation in Congress.  Today’s action further advances this effort and is another example of my Administration’s commitment to faithfully representing the citizens of the United States and putting their interests first.

Last year Trump tried to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. The Supreme Court, with the help of Chief Justice John Roberts, shot down the administration's attempt. In their ruling, the justices admitted that the president could include the question, but that his legal reasoning was insufficient. So, they decided to send it back to the lower courts for additional review.

You can imagine what conservatives, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who called the citizenship question "basic common sense," thought about that.