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Trump Seeks to Stop Counting Unauthorized Immigrants in Drawing House Districts

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WASHINGTON —

President Trump directed the federal government on Tuesday not to count undocumented immigrants when allocating the nation’s House districts, a move that critics called a transparent political ploy to help Republicans in violation of the Constitution.The president’s directive would exclude millions of people when determining how many House seats each state should have based on the once-a-decade census, reversing the longstanding policy of counting everyone regardless of citizenship or legal status. The effect would likely shift several seats from Democratic states to Republican states.

“There used to be a time when you could proudly declare, ‘I am a citizen of the United States,’” Mr. Trump said in a written statement after signing a memorandum to the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau. “But now, the radical left is trying to erase the existence of this concept and conceal the number of illegal aliens in our country. This is all part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of Americans citizens, and I will not stand for it.”

The action directly conflicts with the traditional consensus interpretation of the Constitution and will almost surely be challenged in court, potentially delaying its effect if not blocking its enactment altogether. But it fit into Mr. Trump’s efforts to curb both legal and illegal immigration at a time when he is anxiously trying to galvanize his political base heading into a fall election season trailing his Democratic opponent.

“I think the Donald Trump view is: ‘I can look like I’m trying to do something by stoking anti-immigrant fervor, and if I lose in court then, I just stoke anti-court fervor too,’” Joshua A. Geltzer, the director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown, said in an interview. “It should be legally impossible as well as factually difficult to do.”

The move comes a year after Mr. Trump was blocked by the Supreme Court from adding a citizenship question to the census on the grounds that its ostensible reasoning “seems to have been contrived.” The administration has been trying ever since to collect information on undocumented immigrants through separate means like driver’s license files.

A study last year by the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that supports limits on immigration, found that excluding immigrants from the count for purposes of drawing congressional districts would take away seats from some states while giving more to others.

Excluding unauthorized immigrants in 2020 would redistribute three seats, the study found, with California, New York and Texas all losing a seat that they would have had otherwise, while Ohio, Alabama and Minnesota would each gain one. The study found even more sweeping effects if the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants were excluded, but the president’s directive made no mention of them.

Steven Camarota, the research director for the center, said the administration’s effort would be difficult administratively and likely tied up in court. “Nevertheless,” he said, “the president has done the country an important service by reminding us that tolerating large-scale illegal immigration creates a number of unavoidable consequences, including diluting the political representation of American citizens in Congress and the Electoral College.”

The White House separately asked congressional appropriators last weekend to include $1 billion into the next coronavirus relief package for the purpose of conducting a “timely census.” The Census Bureau had previously sought permission to extend the tally of the hardest-to-count people into October and delay delivery of reapportionment population totals to next year.

The $1 billion could allow the bureau to abandon that plan and accelerate the counting to deliver a reapportionment count to Congress in December, before Mr. Trump leaves office if he loses the election to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. It could mean that less time is devoted to counting the marginalized people than in a normal census, which experts believe would benefit Republicans.

The president’s directive on Tuesday amounted to his latest election-year effort to restrict immigration and immigration rights in the United States, lately predicated on the need to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The administration decided last month to suspend new work visas and bar hundreds of thousands of foreigners from seeking employment in the United States, drawing immediate opposition from business leaders and several states.

But last week administration officials backed away from a separate plan to strip international college students of their visas if they did not attend at least some classes in person. Earlier this month, Mr. Trump told Telemundo that he would sign a “much bigger bill on immigration” through an executive order, although that has not come to fruition.

The president’s move to exclude unauthorized immigrants from congressional apportionment upends a long history. Even as he signed his memorandum on Tuesday, the Census Bureau’s own website continued to say in a question-and-answer section that undocumented residents are to be counted: “Yes, all people (citizens and noncitizens) with a usual residence in the 50 states are to be included in the census and thus in the apportionment counts.”

The president’s policy appeared at odds with the Constitution, which requires the government to conduct an “actual enumeration” of all people living in the United States without distinguishing whether they are citizens. But the memorandum signed by Mr. Trump argued that the government has always made distinctions like not counting foreign diplomats or temporary visitors even though they are in the United States physically. Therefore, the memorandum argued, the government can make the further distinction of not counting people who have no legal right to be in the country in the first place.

Critics said the administration’s efforts first to include a citizenship question and now to disregard undocumented immigrants from apportionment would lead to undercounts of even legal noncitizens and minority residents, resulting in less representation and federal funding in areas where they live, which tend to vote Democratic.

Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center Immigrant Justice Fund, said that regardless of whether Mr. Trump’s latest action was legal, it would discourage compliance with the census among Latinos, who already complete the survey at lower rates than people of other races.

“This is his go-to play every time that he’s feeling cornered or he’s feeling like he’s losing,” Ms. Hincapié said. “He uses immigrants and immigration to divide and distract, and at the same time he sends that chilling effect through all immigrant communities who have already been living in fear under his administration.”

Michael Wines contributed reporting.

Source: Trump Seeks to Stop Counting Unauthorized Immigrants in Drawing House Districts

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Immigration Reform

Biden plans sweeping reversal of Trump immigration agenda

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BIDEN IMMIGRATION REFORM

President-elect Joe Biden is planning a swift reversal of President Trump’s most controversial immigration policies. CBS News’ Camilo Montoya-Galvez reports the incoming Democrat plans to dismantle within his first 100 days much of the agenda Mr. Trump has laid out over the last four years. Montoya-Galvez joins CBSN to break down Mr. Biden’s immigration plans.

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Immigration Reform

Biden plans to unravel Trump’s immigration policies during his first 100 days

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Great news for DACA and Dreamers.

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Politics / Legislation

Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Immigration?

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We are just 60 days away from Election day in the United States which falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. Do you know where your candidate stands on immigration? In this post, we cover Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on important immigration issues, and everything you need to know about his vision for America. We would,

We are just 60 days away from Election day in the United States which falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. Do you know where your candidate stands on immigration? In this post, we cover Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on important immigration issues, and everything you need to know about his vision for America.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind those of our readers who are American citizens to exercise their right to vote. It is your civic duty and will help shape the nation’s immigration policy for the next four years. For voter registration information please click here.


Immigration under Joe Biden

If elected President of the United States, Joe Biden has stated that he will enact a number of policies during his four-year term. Among these policies, he promises to take urgent action to undo destructive policies implemented by the Trump administration, modernize the immigration system, reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees, and implement effective border screening.


Comprehensive Immigration Reform

First and foremost, Joe Biden supports working with Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration solution that would offer nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. As vice president, Joe Biden worked alongside former President Obama to push forward a bill that would do just that. Unfortunately, the Republican-led Congress refused to approve the bill, leaving millions of undocumented immigrants in limbo including Dreamers.

Joe Biden advocates for the creation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program,  the Central American Minors program, which allows parents with legal status in the U.S. to apply to bring their children from Central America to live with them, and the creation of a White House task force to support new Americans to integrate into American life and their communities.


Overview of Biden’s Immigration Commitments

Temporary Seasonal Workers. Biden wishes to work with Congress to reform the current system of temporary work visas to allow seasonal workers in select industries to easily switch jobs, while certifying the labor market’s need for foreign workers. Employers would be required to pay prevailing wages and ensure the right of all workers to join a union and exercise their labor rights.

High-skilled Temporary Visas. Biden will also work with Congress to reform temporary visas to establish a wage-based allocation process and create fraud prevention mechanisms. Biden supports expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, eliminating the backlogs.

Legalization for Agricultural Workers. For agricultural workers, Biden would support legislation between farmworkers and the agricultural industry to provide them with legal status based on prior agricultural work history, to ensure a “fast track” green card process ultimately workers them to apply for citizenship.

Removing Per-Country Cap Limitations. Biden is strongly against the current per-country cap visa limitations and the long waiting periods families must wait to be reunited. Biden will support a family-based immigration system allowing any approved applicant to receive a temporary non-immigrant visa until a permanent visa is processed, and will support legislation that treats spouses and children of green card holders as immediate relatives exempting them from the caps, and allowing parents to bring minor children with them at the time they immigrate.

Preserving the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Biden will continue to support the diversity visa lottery program and preserve the program.

Increase Employment Based Visas. Regarding employment-based visas, Biden will work with Congress to increase the number of visas for permanent employment-based immigration and temporarily reduce the number of visas during times of high U.S. unemployment. Biden would exempt from any cap recent graduates of PhD programs in STEM fields in the US.

New Visa Category for Cities and Counties Seeking Immigrant Work. Biden supports creating a new visa category that would allow cities and counties to petition for higher levels of immigrant to support their growth, provided employers certify there are available jobs and no workers to fill them. Holders of these visas would need to work and reside in the city or county that petitioned them and be subject to certification protections similar to employment-based immigrants.

Expansion of U Visa Program. Biden will expand the U visa program to include eligibility for workers who report certain workplace crimes.

Increase visas for Domestic Violence Survivors and Victims of Crime. Finally, Biden plans to triple the current cap of 10,000 on U-visas and increase visas for domestic violence survivors.


Policy on Removal and Enforcement Actions

Joe Biden plans to focus his administration on prioritizing removal and enforcement actions on persons who pose a threat to national security and public safety. The Biden administration would not target the removal of working-class undocumented immigrants and their families. Biden also promises to end mass workplace raids and prevent enforcement actions and operations at sensitive locations including schools, hospitals, and places of worship.

With regard to the influx of undocumented immigration from Central America, the Biden administration would address the root of the problem, by securing bipartisan support and funding to countries in the Northern Triangle to help these countries tackle violence and insecurity, lack of economic opportunity, and corruption in the region.


Joe Biden’s 100-Day Plan

Within his first 100 days in office, the Biden administration commits to:

  • Immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s policies that have separated parents from children at the border, including ending prosecution of parents for minor immigration violations, and prioritizing family reunification.
  • Immediately reverse the Trump administration’s public charge rule
  • End the “national emergency” imposed by the Trump administration to enable the Department of Defense to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border
  • Protect Dreamers and their families, by reinstating the DACA program and exploring all legal options to protect families from inhumane separation
  • Restore and defend the naturalization process for green card holders by removing roadblocks to naturalization, addressing the application backlog and rejecting imposition of unreasonable fees
  • End the Trump administration’s detrimental asylum policies
  • Rescind the travel and refugee bans also known as the “Muslim bans” by the Trump administration
  • Review Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for vulnerable populations and introduce a bill that will allow TPS/DED holders who have been in the country for an extended period of time, a path to citizenship
  • End the mismanagement of the asylum system to ensure asylum applications are processing fairly and efficiently
  • Increase humanitarian resources at the border through a network of organizations including faith-based shelters, non-governmental aid organizations, legal non-profits, and other organizations
  • End prolonged detention and investment in a case management program, by supporting the Flores agreement which prevents the detention of children indefinitely
  • Restore sensible enforcement prioritizes targeting threats to public safety and national security, and not workers and their families

To read more about Joe Biden’s proposed policies on immigration please click here.


Source: Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Immigration?

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