President Trump signed a memo Tuesday directing the federal government to not count undocumented immigrants when allocating congressional representation across the nation. Opponents to the measure say this is unconstitutional and a bald ploy to help the Republican party. The directive would exclude millions of people when determining how many House seats each state should have, reversing the policy of counting everyone regardless of citizenship status.
“The radical left is trying to erase the existence of [citizenship] and conceal the number of illegal aliens in our country. This is all part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of American citizens, and I will not stand for it,” Trump said in a written statement.
Trump has long sought to use the census as a tool in his immigration crackdown, first by attempting to include a citizenship question on the form itself. That effort was shot down by the courts. Tuesday’s memorandum will be challenged in court and likely ended as well. Regardless, Trump’s order can’t even be carried out because there is no official tally of undocumented immigrants and federal law bars population estimates for reapportionment purposes.
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Excluding undocumented immigrants in 2020 would redistribute three seats across the U.S., according to the immigration restrictionist think tank Center for Immigration Studies. California, New York and Texas would all lose a seat, while Ohio, Alabama and Minnesota would each gain one. The consensus among experts is that the memorandum will amount to very little, but it Trump’s hardline immigration stance to his base. The New York Times
In other federal immigration…
USCIS Furloughs Will Continue Despite Funding Uptick
The Trump administration will move forward with USCIS furloughs despite the agency saying it no longer expects to see a budget shortfall this year. USCIS told employees it can only delay the mandatory unpaid time off for more than 70 percent of its workforce, even though an uptick in revenue has made it possible for the agency to continue operations through September. Government Executive
Peter Thiel Backs Kris Kobach in Senate race
Peter Thiel, the conservative founder of tech company Palantir, has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into supporting Kris Kobach’s Senate race. The Republican Kobach is seeking an open Senate seat in Kansas after losing the governor’s race there in 2018 and is known for his anti-immigration views. He was linked to the Trump administration’s travel ban and is currently seeking to privately crowdfund an extension of the border wall. Thiel is supporting the senator through the Free Forever Political Action Committee, an independent group Thiel has almost exclusively funded. He donated $850,000 to the group, with just $30,000 of the organization’s money coming from other donors. The Verge
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