A three-judge panel in New York is blocking the Trump administration from moving forward with a plan to exclude illegal immigrants from the census count. That count is used to determine the number of congressional seats states receive in the House of Representatives. It would be a separate count from the census that would still include anyone living in the U.S.
The administration proposed the rule back in July, and it was always difficult to see how it could be implemented.
At the center of Thursday’s ruling is a proclamation issued by Mr. Trump in July telling Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the U.S. Census Bureau, to facilitate the collection of data that would allow him to remove immigrants without legal status from the count used for congressional apportionment. The constitutionally-mandated process to determine the number of House seats each state has occurs every 10 years after the census is taken.
The three-judge panel, which convened specifically to hear the case, said the proposal violates federal laws that govern the redrawing of congressional seats and the census count. The judges did not address whether Mr. Trump’s directive is constitutional.
With no citizenship question on the census form, it would have been impossible to weed out the responses of illegal aliens from citizens. So on a practical basis, the rule was a non-starter.
The judges agreed.
“By directing the Secretary to provide two sets of numbers, one derived from the decennial census and one not, and announcing that it is the policy of the United States to use the latter in connection with apportionment, the Presidential Memorandum deviates from, and thus violates, the statutory scheme,” the judges wrote. “Second, the Presidential Memorandum violates the statute governing apportionment because, so long as they reside in the United States, illegal aliens qualify as “persons in” a “State” as Congress used those words.”
Thursday’s order stems from a lawsuit mounted by a coalition of states led by New York. The legal challenge is one of several filed against Mr. Trump’s directive in federal courts across the country.
Illegal aliens are worth 3 or 4 congressional seats to California and at least that many to New York. Obviously, illegals flock to states where the government will not pursue them — sanctuary states that are overwhelmingly Democratic. The notion that only Trump was “playing politics” with the census by proposing this rule is ludicrous — not when so much is at stake for Democrats as well. By opposing the rule, Democrats were playing for potential long-term control of the House. Those are big stakes indeed.
Leaving politics aside, why should illegals be counted for purposes of apportioning congressional seats? It allows illegals to put a thumb on the scale even though they’re not accountable to anyone. Since they insist on hiding themselves from society why count them for any reason?
If we didn’t count them in the census they wouldn’t be able to get government goodies that depend on the population size of a state. So Democrats are very careful to make sure we include every illegal alien possible in the count.
It won’t be long before non-citizens — including illegals — are voting in national elections. I’m sure it’s on the Democrat’s wish list of legislation they want to pass if they take over the House, Senate, and White House.