ACLU: Constitution Requires Illegal Aliens Be Counted in Congressional Apportionment

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On Tuesday, President Trump signed a memorandum to exclude illegal aliens from being counted when the federal government apportions congressional representation to the states — a reversal of existing policy that allows states with large illegal populations to soak up more political power by counting all residents.

In response, the ACLU is threatening a lawsuit, claiming the U.S. Constitution requires the counting of illegal aliens in congressional apportionment.

ACLU official Dale Ho said in a statement:

The Constitution requires that everyone in the U.S. be counted in the census. President Trump can’t pick and choose. He tried to add a citizenship question to the census and lost in the Supreme Court. His latest attempt to weaponize the census for an attack on immigrant communities will be found unconstitutional. We’ll see him in court, and win, again.

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) President Dan Stein praised Trump’s decision, saying that for too long American citizens and legal immigrants have been “denied representation” in Congress because of the “inclusion of illegal aliens” in congressional apportionment. Stein continued:

The practice has also robbed Americans in some states of federal resources and awarded federal dollars to states with large populations of illegal aliens. Often, the states that gain representation and federal resources encourage illegal immigration through sanctuary policies and generous benefits to illegal aliens.

Stein said:

The process of including illegal aliens in the Census count for the purpose of reapportionment, as it has been practiced in recent decades, is fundamentally unfair to law-abiding Americans, and the president should be applauded for taking long-overdue action to safeguard their interests and constitutional rights.

The American Immigration Council (AIC), which lobbies for more immigration to the U.S., claimed the memorandum is “politicizing the Census.” AIC’s Beth Werlin said:

We must not allow this order to strip the rights of representation to those who live in communities with immigrants. We must count all the hundreds of thousands of people who live and work in the United States and contribute to our communities, pay their taxes, and participate in community life.

Federal law gives the president authority to determine “the whole number of persons in each state,” which informs the allocation of congressional representatives to each state. The memorandum ensures that states with small illegal populations are not rewarded less representation in Congress than states with large illegal populations.

Next year, the U.S. Census Bureau is expected to release estimates on the American citizen, legal resident, and illegal alien populations at Trump’s direction. That data will be used for congressional apportionment.

Today, there are an estimated 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. The Census estimates that at current legal and illegal immigration levels, by 2060, about one-in-six residents will have been born outside the country.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.