President Trump Issues Census Memorandum, “Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment,” Impacting How Congressional Apportionment Works And Consequently How Electoral College Votes Are Distributed
President Trump has ordered the Secretary of Commerce to tabulate the final census numbers without including illegal immigrants from the data used to apportion Congress.
That might sound odd at first. You might wonder why we wouldn’t want to know how many non-citizens are living here, or if you’re forward thinking, you might puzzle over why non-citizens were involved in the apportionment process to begin with. In any case, we’ve provided a brief primer on the issue to explain why this is so important.
So, how many seats are we talking about here?
According to the Center For Immigration Studies, California, New York, and Texas would theoretically each lose one seat:
“Illegal immigrants alone in the 2020 will redistribute three seats, with Ohio, Alabama, and Minnesota each having one fewer seat than they otherwise would have had, while California, New York, and Texas will have one additional seat.”
Why is this happening and why does it matter?
Every ten years the national census is conducted and the findings made during that period determine the fate of the entire nation. Census numbers are used to allocate Congressional Representatives to each of the 50 states in a process known as apportionment.
These representatives, of course, go on to engage in policy making and introduce legislation to the lower chamber, but more than that, for every representative a state receives, they receive a vote in the electoral college.
You probably know most of this already, but one facet of the role the census plays in the apportionment process if often left out of the equation: the census doesn’t determine how many citizens are living in the United States. It determines how many persons are present.
That’s a bit of an issue, since the numbers determined by the census are weighted to favor states with high immigrant populations. As a consequence, states like California and New York receive additional representation in Congress due to the number of immigrants—legal and illegal—living in their state.
Nationalist Review has written extensively about this issue and Rep. Steve King has made every possible effort to see to it that the language in the Constitution and relevant amendments is changed. Unfortunately, it’s just one mighty uphill battle.
Now, however, some ground might be gained on the matter thanks to a memorandum issued today by President Trump. The memorandum orders the Secretary of Commerce to conduct tabulate the final numbers for the apportionment process without including illegal aliens.
Here’s what the memorandum has to say on the matter:
“Excluding these illegal aliens from the apportionment base is more consonant with the principles of representative democracy underpinning our system of Government. Affording congressional representation, and therefore formal political influence, to States on account of the presence within their borders of aliens who have not followed the steps to secure a lawful immigration status under our laws undermines those principles. Many of these aliens entered the country illegally in the first place.”
But I though the courts blocked the citizenship question, so how does this even work?
President Trump has taken data from other departments and agencies to make up for the lack of a Census question:
“I instructed executive departments and agencies to share information with the Department of Commerce, to the extent permissible and consistent with law, to allow the Secretary to obtain accurate data on the number of citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens in the country. As the Attorney General and I explained at the time that order was signed, data on illegal aliens could be relevant for the purpose of conducting the apportionment, and we intended to examine that issue.”
There’s still much work to be done! It isn’t just illegal immigrants who distort fair representation of legitimate Americans:
Again, from CIS:
“The 2020 census will show that the presence of all immigrants (naturalized citizens, legal residents, and illegal aliens) and their U.S.-born minor children is responsible for a shift of 26 House seats. This is the cumulative impact of immigration, not the change from the previous census.”
“Of the 26 seats that will be lost, 24 are from states that voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Of states that will gain House seats because of immigration, 19 seats will go to the solidly Democratic states of California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Texas is the only solidly Republican state that gains, while Florida is a swing state.”
Essentially, non-citizenship apportionment—both legal and illegal—is a ticking time bomb. And it’s about to explode. Trump’s memorandum is a fantastic start, but it is far from enough.