Trump Challenges Counting of Illegal Aliens for Representation

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

On Oct. 30, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments pertaining to the ongoing case Donald Trump v. State of New York, which is related to disputes on whether illegal aliens should be counted for the purposes of federal representation. Some argue that the case is one of the Trump campaign’s last hopes to alter the apparent victory of President-Elect Joe Biden, considering that most cases filed by the Trump campaign calling foul in the election have been unsuccessful.

The Trump v. New York case is expected to be the President’s final major attempt to solely count legal residents of the U.S.in the decennial census, an effort that commenced in late July.

The anticipated ruling has proven to be one of the most contentious political issues of the year. Those opposed to the exclusion of the illegal immigrants resist due to precedent as well as a portion of Article I Section II of the U.S. Constitution, which mandates that a census be taken every decade that counts every resident of the United States. Meanwhile, those favoring the ruling contend that the intention of the aforementioned clause is to solely count the lawful residents of the U.S. The current administration has already come under fire for its controversial citizenship question in the census.

Impact of the Decision

Many argue that the lawsuit is meant to be yet another one of the Trump campaign’s efforts to alter the declared results of the 2020 election. In California, 6% of the population is reportedly comprised of illegal aliens. If the Supreme Court were to side with Trump, the number of representatives (and therefore the number of electoral votes) allocated to the state could be disputed, possibly handing Trump — and perhaps the House GOP — the election.

The impact of the ruling would not just be limited to California. Arizona, a Republican stronghold that flipped to vote for Biden in 2020 election, is another state with a large number of illegal immigrants.

Other states with high unauthorized foreign populations include Georgia, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois — all states that voted for Biden this year.

However, some believe that the data from the census will be counted after the 2021 inauguration, indicating that the ruling may not be as influential on the election as it is currently thought to be. Nonetheless, it could be instrumental in swinging future elections in either direction, considering that many battleground states have high illegal alien populations.

The ruling would also set enormous precedent on what to expect from the Supreme Court now that it has a 6-3 Supreme Court conservative majority. Following the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barret, Democrats expressed concern that the Supreme Court would side with Trump on all matters, and a ruling in Trump’s favor without there being ample evidence would do much to confirm that suspicion.