President Trump Memorandum Will Exclude Undocumented Immigrants from Census and Representative Apportionment

Published by Matt Fishman on

President Trump signed a memorandum today directing the “exclusion of illegal aliens from the apportionment base”.

Per the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, “[House of] Representatives [members] 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”. This number is enumerated in the decennial census.

Now in anticipation of the reapportionment of Representatives following the 2020 census, the President seeks to “exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status”. President Trump defends this decision because including “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”. “Affording congressional representation” based on this number, he goes on, “undermines” the legal immigration process and promotes State “policies that encourage illegal aliens to enter this country”.

President Trump claims he has the power to make “the final determination regarding the “whole number of persons in each State,” which determines the number of Representatives to be apportioned to each State” “by law”, however the 14th Amendment explicitly says “Congress shall have the power to enforce” the Representative apportionment.