Trump gets serious about halting political power wielded by illegals with executive order on congressional representation
Does our vote matter as Americans, or can anyone — say, citizens of El Salvador, China, Mexico, or the Philippines — have full American legislative representation and all of its powers, just by having two feet here?
That's the deeply relevant issue from President Trump's executive order to exclude illegal aliens from the count for congressional representation. According to Fox News:
President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to prevent illegal immigrants [sic] from being counted for the purposes of re-drawing congressional districts after the 2020 census — reheating a fiery debate from last year on if illegal immigrants [sic] should be counted in the census.
"There used to be a time when you could proudly declare, 'I am a citizen of the United States.' But now, the radical left is trying to erase the existence of this concept and conceal the number of illegal aliens in our country," Trump said in a statement accompanying the apportionment memorandum on “Ensuring American Citizens Receive Proper Representation in Congress.”
"This is all part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of Americans citizens, and I will not stand for it," he said.
The order says that for the purposes of reapportionment, "it is the policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status...to the maximum extent feasible and consistent with the discretion delegated to the executive branch."
Trump's measure seems like a quixotic effort, for sure, given that the courts, even the Supreme Court, rules against even the most ordinary enforcement of established immigration law as long as President Trump is involved, constantly siding with the interests of illegally present foreign nationals instead. The U.S. Census question asking about citizenship was nixed by the Roberts court, even though the question had been asked for more than a century in one heck of a precedent. The Court also nixed Trump's bid to end President Obama's executive order on DACA, which itself was a highly questionable override of a law that failed to pass in Congress and shouldn't have been on the books at all. Seems any executive order President Obama makes is now permanent law according to this Supremes precedent, with any future Republican presidents prohibited from getting rid of it, or else making a new executive order. So it's natural to think this bid to halt congressional representation by illegals from President Trump will be all for naught.
Give Trump credit for fighting for rule of law as it's written, maybe.
For sure, there will be another fight from the radical left, and the courts may well side with the crazies.
ACLU says in statement it will sue Trump over recent executive order excluding undocumented people from the census apportionment count— Sam Levine (@srl) July 21, 2020
But there is great value in what President Trump is doing, in that he's bringing forward to the public that not all of our representatives in Congress actually represent Americans.
Certain districts of Los Angeles County, for instance, more accurately represent states of Mexico or El Salvador, given the sizable illegals tally. These congresspeople, all leftist Democrats, all wield the same amount of power as districts solely populated by Americans.
Should El Salvador really be entitled to a congressional seat just because it's encouraged its nationals to move illegally to America? Should China? You can bet these congressional representatives will naturally support the interests of these countries.
But is that actually fair? If El Salvador gets a seat in the U.S. Congress, why shouldn't, say, France get a seat, too, or Australia, if this is how it's going to be? El Salvador, to take another example, calls Los Angeles County its 15th departamento (state) based on the number of its illegally present nationals there, and El Salvador's newspapers cover Los Angeles County as a domestic beat.
In any case, nations respond to incentives, and free congressional representation without the bother of diplomacy is a game some malevolent nations are very likely to play. How long is it going to take for China to recognize that the way to get a voice in Congress is not through diplomatic persuasion, but by seeding a congressional district or two with its own nationals, legal or illegal, and in the throes of the Chinese government? Forgive them the smuggling fees in order to pad a congressional district? It wouldn't be surprising if it's already happened.
Some of the most powerful Democrats in Congress and in various statehouses already represent districts with voting turnout figures of around 9% and an even tinier number when all residents, registered voters, legal aliens, illegal aliens, and minors are tallied. Political consultants call these "dead" districts. That's because illegals generally don't vote, although this may change with ballot-harvesters, some themselves illegal, now going door to door in places like California to let illegals know that the Democratic Party knows where they live, while very few illegal voting cases by foreign nationals are ever prosecuted, and certainly not in blue states. Democrats are really big on ballot-harvesting these days.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is very likely in this 'dead district' category. Her Bronx/Queens 14th district sported a 37,825 voter turnout rate in last month's New York primary (of which she drew all of 27,460 votes), and he average congressional district represents 711,000 people. What we see are 27,460 voters representing a 711,000 or so district. A tally like this shows that it's quite likely that she draws her power in Congress not from Americans but from the presence of illegally present foreign nationals padding her district and whose loyalties may well be at odds with those of the United States.
Bad as the outlook is for Trump, the Trumpsters aren't giving up, and that is a good sign. They are in fact giving some pretty good reasons for the executive order that are going to be hard for Justice Roberts to dismiss easily.
According to Fox News:
"Today’s action to exclude illegal aliens from the apportionment base reflects a better understanding of the Constitution and is consistent with the principles of our representative democracy," Trump said. "My Administration will not support giving congressional representation to aliens who enter or remain in the country unlawfully, because doing so would create perverse incentives and undermine our system of government. Just as we do not give political power to people who are here temporarily, we should not give political power to people who should not be here at all."
There will be a protracted argument about the constitutional provision of "persons in each state" as if all illegally present Americans were planted here like elms. (Reality: a very large number go back and forth).
There will be another argument about how resources are distributed, which is a function of the Census. After all, if a Los Angeles school district has a majority illegal child population, and a law that it must teach them, it's going to need resources. The Trumpsters can argue that the Census count on legal and illegal residents is not part of this, just the question of unearned political representation.
There will also be arguments about where the Trump administration is going to find out who is in the country illegally, particularly since the Census citizenship question loses a useful pointer. The White House has said it has more accurate ways of determining illegals, which may come to the fore and it will have to be ready for answers.
Some conservatives will argue that the best solution will simply be removing illegals, which is true — if there were decent enforcement at all this wouldn't happen. But a structure that supports illegal immigration and gives illegals real political power in their representation is a very major part of the problem. Knocking down the structural incentives to illegal immigration is important because it's a big reason why the U.S. cannot get control of its borders or its immigration situation at all. If nothing else, maybe it will remind the citizen voters that representation is important and get them to turn out to vote.