Donald Trump signs order to leave undocumented migrants from 2020 census

21 July 2020, 21:13

Donald Trump signed the executive order on Tuesday
Donald Trump signed the executive order on Tuesday. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Donald Trump has signed an executive order to leave undocumented migrants off of this year's census.

The executive order, which was signed on Tuesday, said the exclusion would be "more consonant with the principles of representative democracy" underpinning the government.

This would come into play when congressional district lines are redrawn next year.

It said: "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.

"Excluding these illegal aliens from the apportionment base is more consonant with the principles of representative democracy underpinning our system of government."

This is not the first time the US president has used the census to collect data on illegal immigration.

In 2019, he was blocked from including a question on the form asking whether respondents were US citizens.

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The new order could see to change the balance of power after district lines are drawn up - and if the total population is no longer counted.

This, however, has come under debate due to the Constitution saying that congressional representation does not just cover US citizens, but "the whole number of free persons".

In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union said it would be suing the Mr Trump as a result, writing on Twitter: "We'll see him in court - and win - again."

It added: "Trump tries 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."