President Trump on Tuesday signed an order directing the U.S. Census Bureau not to count illegal immigrants when awarding seats in the House of Representatives based on each state’s population.
The directive requires Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to provide “information permitting the President, to the extent practicable” to exclude immigrants without legal status from the population count used to divide up House seats. States use the census count, conducted every 10 years, to redraw congressional districts based on how their populations have shifted.
“I have accordingly determined that respect for the law and protection of the integrity of the democratic process warrant the exclusion of illegal aliens from the apportionment base, to the extent feasible and to the maximum extent of the President’s discretion under the law,” Trump’s memorandum states.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled against an attempt by the administration to ask respondents in the census if they are citizens. Trump’s attempts to utilize the census in his immigration agenda have encountered fierce opposition from Democrats.