Supreme Court’s Case On Illegal Immigrants And The Census

If you thought that the legal battles involving the Census were over, or that the Trump administration would begin to wind down its work on related matters, think again. The Supreme Court has taken up one of the most effectual cases brought about by the Trump administration yet. Whether illegal immigrants should be allowed be to be counted in the Census. While this may sound absurd on the surface, here’s how we got here.

The Census was created under Article 1 section 2 of the US Constitution. Every ten years since 1790, the Census Bureau has been tasked with providing an updated count of persons in every state across the country. The key in this conversation is that it states “persons” not citizens specifically. That obviously leaves room for anyone currently in the country, legally or otherwise, to be counted. With Electoral College representation for Presidential elections, congressional representation, and taxpayer funding all directly tied to the Census, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Historically, under the literal interpretation of illegal immigrants being persons, they’ve been counted in the Census. The Trump administration is aiming to end that practice with this lawsuit.

It’s hard to imagine our founders, who’d fought a revolution for freedom from tyranny, purposefully put a clause in the constitution that’d incentivize sanctuary states and cities but that’s what it’s become. States like California, along with a myriad of cities across the country, actually have an incentive to encourage illegal immigration around Census time as long as they’re allowed to be counted. This makes sanctuary policies not only a violation of federal law, but it represents a fleecing of law-abiding states and communities. It’s for these reasons I believe it’s appropriate for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the Trump administration. According to FAIR, the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform, there are an estimated 14.3 million illegal immigrants in the United States currently, of which nearly 11 million were counted as part of this year’s Census. That’s greater than the population of 46 states. That’s how significant the impact would be this Census if they’re to be counted. Now we watch, we wait and we’ll see.

Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

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