Trump’s memo aims to exclude undocumented immigrants from a key census count.
What We Know:
- On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed a memo to try and exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 census. The document aims to have the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, count U.S. citizens and only certain immigrants. When the census presents the president with the final total, the undocumented population can be excluded from the total that is used to determine how many of the 435 House seats each state will have.
- This is not Trump’s first attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Last year, the Supreme Court blocked his request to ask respondents if there were US citizens. Trump’s latest effort to change the way US populations are totaled would advance his administration’s nonstop political agenda against immigrants.
“We will collect all of the information we need to conduct an accurate census and to make responsible decisions about public policy, voting rights, and representation in Congress,” Trump said in a statement.
- The memo goes on to say that allowing illegal aliens to be counted is potentially rewarding states that encourage violations of Federal immigration law, undermining our system of government, and that President Trump would never allow democracy to be eroded.
- Several advocacy groups, dedicated to encouraging census participation, immediately responded that they would sue the administration’s efforts because it is unconstitutional. “This executive order is the action of a racist, misguided, and troubled president who continues to make unconstitutional attacks on hard-working immigrants,” said Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) BOLD PAC Chairman, Tony Cárdenas in a statement.
- “The Trump administration’s action today is even more clearly unconstitutional, as they seek not just to chill participation from noncitizens, but literally to remove them from the final numbers,” immigrant advocacy group CASA said in a statement. “CASA will again fight this in court and ensure that everyone is counted in the 2020 Census.”
- The American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) director of the Voting Rights Project, Dale Ho, said they plan to challenge the memo. “Trump’s latest attempt to weaponize the census for an attack on immigrant communities will be found unconstitutional,” Ho said.
BREAKING: Trump tried to add a citizenship question to the census and lost in the Supreme Court.
His latest attempt to weaponize the census for an attack on immigrant communities WILL be found unconstitutional.
We’ll see him in court — and win — again.
— ACLU (@ACLU) July 21, 2020
- The Constitution requires the government to conduct a census every 10 years. Its data influences the flow of billions of federal dollars and how many members of Congress are apportioned to each state.
The census must deliver its final count to the president by April 30, 2021. If you haven’t had the chance yet, you can fill out the Census here.