Trump Census Order Poses Problem for Bureau

Getty Images U.S. President Donald Trump

Getty Images U.S. President Donald Trump

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Senior White House officials confirmed the contents of the memo, titled "Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census", to the Daily Caller ahead of the signing, but multiple questions remained as to how exactly Trump is recommending Congress exclude illegal immigrants from the new district maps.

This memorandum comes in the middle of the 2020 U.S. Census, with reports showing that 62.2% of the country has already responded since April.

Attorneys with Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC are also preparing to challenge Trump's memo as part of an ongoing federal lawsuit over the administration's efforts to use government records to produce citizenship data. Both come with the "same attendant issues of lack of accuracy and discrimination against Latinos, non-U.S. citizens and those who live near non-U.S. citizens", Minnis wrote.

"Excluding these illegal aliens from the apportionment base is more consonant with the principles of representative democracy underpinning our system of government", the order claims, though the 14th Amendment makes clear that "Representatives shall be apportioned. counting the whole number of persons in each state".

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Since the US Supreme Court recently forced the Census Bureau to remove a citizenship question from printed census forms, the authorities will presumably need to use statistical estimates to prevent "aliens" from being enumerated in the census.

"For the goal of the reapportionment of Representatives following the 2020 census, it is the policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status under the Immigration and Nationality Act", Trump's memo states. The memo notes that states which thwart the enforcement of federal laws should not be rewarded with increased representation in Congress. Dale Ho, the director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, responded in a statement, saying, "We'll see him in court, and win, again".

The president's tweet refers to coronavirus as the "Invisible China Virus" - a controversial name for the disease along with another Trump favorite, the "Kung Flu". "The House of Representatives will vigorously contest the President's unconstitutional and unlawful attempt to impair the Census".

Updated at 2:25 add statement from Mo Brooks.

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