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questionable at best

Trump signs dubious executive order to bar undocumented immigrants from counting toward House apportionment

President Trump signed a memorandum Tuesday that will bar undocumented immigrants from being used to determine congressional apportionment and Electoral College votes.

The decision is legally dubious, as the Constitution specifically says the census counts "persons" to determine House seats, and the 14th Amendment requires counting "whole number of persons in each state." Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) went so far as to call it "flagrantly unconstitutional," while Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) changed up the adjective to call it "patently unconstitutional." Trump countered in a statement that his memo "reflects a better understanding of the Constitution."

The decision comes as 2020 census counting efforts are well underway, so it's unclear how the order would be implemented. The Trump administration previously tried and failed to put a citizenship question on the census. Advocates said the question would discourage undocumented people from filling out the census, and the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration had been dishonest about their reasons for adding the question.

The ACLU has already promised to challenge Tuesday's directive, as it did with Trump's citizenship question. Kathryn Krawczyk