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Immigration Law

Feds Sued Over Trump Census Memo

Nick Cahill, July 23, 2020

"The city of Atlanta, along with a coalition of nonprofits and naturalized citizens, sued late Thursday to stop President Donald Trump’s plan to exclude undocumented people from the upcoming census.

In a federal lawsuit filed in Washington D.C., the plaintiffs cast Trump’s unprecedented attempt to change the once-a-decade count used to divvy seats in Congress as racially and politically motivated.

“The Constitution is unambiguous in its requirements relating to the census count and reapportionment of Congressional seats – all persons must be counted,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of co-plaintiff Common Cause. “This directive simply ignores those requirements in an unconstitutional attempt to manipulate the process for racial advantage and partisan political gain.” 

Earlier this week, Trump ordered the Commerce Department to exclude undocumented immigrants in the census reporting used to determine states’ seats in the House of Representatives. The proposal would create a radical shift in how the census is conducted, as for hundreds of years population counts were conducted regardless of immigration status. 

Critics responded that the memo-titled “Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census”- was a blatant attempt to reduce House seats in Democratic-controlled states with large immigrant communities like California and New York."