Trump moves to stop counting illegal immigrants in determining state congressional representation

The president has made clear that he does not believe illegal aliens should be counted when calculating state representation in the U.S. House of Representatives

Updated: July 22, 2020 - 11:45am

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President Trump issued a memorandum Tuesday to stop illegal immigrants from being include in upcoming population counts that determine the number of House members for each state.

"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," the president said in a statement.

Trump directed his memo to the Secretary of the Commerce Department and it will impact the state representation determinations following the 2020 Census.

In an apparent reference to California, Trump argued in the memo that counting illegal immigrants when determining states' congressional representation would allow them to gain extra congressional seats based on its large illegal population.

"Current estimates suggest that one state is home to more than 2.2 million illegal aliens, constituting more than 6 percent of the State’s entire population. Including these illegal aliens in the population of the State for the purpose of apportionment could result in the allocation of two or three more congressional seats than would otherwise be allocated," the memo notes.

The president said that states that are supportive of illegal immigration should not reap a boost in representation.

"Increasing congressional representation based on the presence of aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status would also create perverse incentives encouraging violations of Federal law. States adopting policies that encourage illegal aliens to enter this country and that hobble Federal efforts to enforce the immigration laws passed by the Congress should not be rewarded with greater representation in the House of Representatives," the memo says.


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