A U.S. House of Representatives committee is set to discuss Wednesday an order by President Donald Trump calling for undocumented immigrants to be excluded from the national census that takes place every 10 years.
Those scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee include Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham, as well as four of his predecessors.
The census has vast implications for the country, with the results used to decided how many congressional seats each state gets as well as the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending.
Trump issued an executive order earlier this month in which he argued that having people who are in the country illegally affect representation in congress and political influence “would be a perversion of our democratic principles.”
The Democrats who chair the House Oversight Committee said Trump’s order went against prior assurances from administration officials who pledged at earlier hearings to conduct a complete count that includes everyone residing in the United States.
Committee leaders said at Wednesday’s hearing they not only want to examine Trump’s executive order, but also “other efforts to politicize the 2020 Census.”
The Trump administration previously sought to include a question about a person’s citizenship on the census survey, but the Supreme Court struck down that effort last year.
Opponents of the citizenship question argued it would likely cause immigrants to refrain from participating in the census, leading to an underrepresentation of their numbers in the count.