Pelosi Smacks Trump for Seeking to Exclude Illegal Aliens from Census Count Used to Apportion Congressional Seats

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(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) put out a statement on Saturday about an amicus brief the House of Representatives has filed in federal court in a case seeking to force the Trump Administration to include illegal aliens in the population count that will be used to distribute House seats among the states for the coming decade.

There are 435 members of the House of Representatives. Following each decennial Census, these House seats are distributed among the states according to their populations. States with more people get more seats.

On July 21, President Trump issues a memorandum that was titled: “Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census.”

“For the purpose of the reapportionment of Representatives following the 2020 census, it is the policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), to the maximum extent feasible and consistent with the discretion delegated to the executive branch,” Trump said in his memorandum.

“Excluding these illegal aliens from the apportionment base is more consonant with the principles of representative democracy underpinning our system of Government,” said the president’s memorandum.

“Affording congressional representation, and therefore formal political influence, to States on account of the presence within their borders of aliens who have not followed the steps to secure a lawful immigration status under our laws undermines those principles,” said Trump’s memorandum. 

“Many of these aliens entered the country illegally in the first place,” said the memorandum. “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.”

The state of New York filed suit against President Trump’s memorandum, seeking to block its application. The House of Representatives, which Pelosi leads as speaker, filed an amicus brief in the case—opposing the president.

In her statement about the amicus, Pelosi said Trump’s memorandum was “unlawful” and “a blatant violation of the Constitution.”

“The Census is a pillar of our democracy, enshrined by our Founders to ensure that all people who live in the United States, regardless of citizenship, are equally counted and represented,” Pelosi said. 

“The amicus brief filed by the House of Representatives makes clear that the President’s recent unlawful memorandum is a blatant violation of the Constitution and the rule of law, and cannot be allowed to stand,” she said.

Here is the full text of Pelosi’s statement:

Pelosi Statement on Amicus Brief in District Court Census Cases

August 15, 2020

Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the House of Representatives filed an amicus brief opposing President Trump’s memorandum seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from being included in the population count that will be used to apportion seats in Congress after the 2020 Census in a case filed by a coalition of states, New York v. Trump (S.D.N.Y.), which has been consolidated with New York Immigration Coalition v. Trump (S.D.N.Y.), to be considered by a specially designated three-judge panel:

“The Census is a pillar of our democracy, enshrined by our Founders to ensure that all people who live in the United States, regardless of citizenship, are equally counted and represented.  The amicus brief filed by the House of Representatives makes clear that the President’s recent unlawful memorandum is a blatant violation of the Constitution and the rule of law, and cannot be allowed to stand.

“Despite the Constitution’s clear requirement of an ‘actual enumeration’ of the ‘whole number of persons’ in our country, the Administration has flouted Court rulings and advanced a relentless campaign to undermine the Census.  Their shameful, years-long anti-immigrant attacks are designed to inject fear and uncertainty into vulnerable communities, and to cause traditionally undercounted communities to be even further underrepresented and left behind. 

“The House of Representatives will continue to fight in the Courts and in Congress to ensure a fair and accurate Census as the Constitution and our oath demand.  House Democrats are committed to defending our patriotic immigrant communities as we work to ensure that every person in every community is counted.”



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