The Quote Below—More Misinformation from the Media
“President Donald Trump issued a memorandum on Tuesday aiming to exclude unauthorized immigrants living in the US from census population counts for the purposes of redrawing congressional districts — a transparent bid to erode their political power and that of their communities.
“States currently draw congressional districts, determining the areas that each elected official represents based on total population, including unauthorized immigrants. . . . Each redistricting has a lasting influence on who is likely to win elections, which communities will be represented in Congress, and, ultimately, what laws will be passed.
“Trump’s attempt to exclude unauthorized immigrants would reduce the counts in areas where foreign-born populations have traditionally settled — primarily Democrat-run cities — and therefore undermine their political power relative to more rural, Republican-run areas. But it could also impact red states with large immigrant populations, including Texas.
“The White House has argued that by law, the president has the final say over who must be counted in the census. And Trump on Tuesday said that unauthorized immigrants should not be counted because it would undermine American representative democracy and create ‘perverse incentives’ for those seeking to come to the US. . . .
“Beyond its impact on apportionment and redistricting, the memorandum could also indirectly discourage immigrants who have yet to respond to the census from doing so. That could hurt communities with large immigrant populations, as federal funding is usually determined by census counts.
“The memorandum is likely to be swiftly challenged in court. Legal experts say that it clearly flouts the U.S. Constitution, which requires that every person in the U.S. — not just every citizen — be counted in the census. . . . “ – Trump Is Using the Census to Undermine Immigrants’ Political Power, Vox, 7/21/20 [Link]
Fact Check of Above Quote: Writers of this kind of commentary seem to live in their own echo chambers of political correctness—far removed from any outside balance or common sense. Thus, they seem clueless as to how bizarre their statements come across to ordinary people. Just why should certain communities be deriving political power and funding from the presence of illegal aliens when they do so at the expense of American citizens elsewhere? They quote President Trump but give no credence to his statement that it undermines American democracy to include illegal aliens for apportionment.
But the basis of democratic government is the right to vote granted to citizens. To allow foreign lawbreakers to dilute citizens’ votes most definitely undermines that form of government.
Opponents of Trump’s memorandum maintain that it is illegal because the Constitution calls for the counting of “the whole number of persons” for apportionment. This is true, but the meaning depends on whether these “persons” include everyone, or just a certain class of persons. One clue is that the full phrase from the 14th Amendment states that “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.” When that amendment passed, Indians were considered as members of their tribal nations—and not American citizens. Thus one can argue that the word “persons” referred to are citizens.
Daniel Horowitz of Conservative Review has written a lengthy article demonstrating that our laws and history support President Trump’s position. In that article he notes that “Before the courts became lawless on immigration, they ruled that any illegal entrant, ‘although physically within our boundaries, is to be regarded as if he had been stopped at the limit of our jurisdiction, and kept there while his right to enter was under debate’ (U.S. v. Ju Toy, 1905). Illegals were deemed to be physically outside our borders because it was intuitive to everyone in the legal system that a foreign national cannot unilaterally assert his right to enter, thereby forcing upon us electoral changes affecting reapportionment.”
Eventually, the courts will decide this issue if President Trump or his successors keep pushing it. The president deserves credit for setting the process in motion. The law is not always consistent with common sense, but if the courts consider common sense at all, they will rule to keep illegal aliens out of apportionment.