Atlanta, Paterson, New Jersey, and other cities have filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the Trump Administration’s attempt at omitting undocumented immigrants from the census. On July 22, the Trump Administration has signed an executive memorandum on Tuesday that will exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 census. The cities are arguing that the Executive Memorandum flouts the plain language of the constitution and any changes to the census cannot be done with a memorandum but rather a constitutional amendment.
Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a population count of everyone in the United States. Data from the census provide the basis for distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to communities across the country to support vital programs—impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care, and public policy. They also are used to redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts and accurately determine the number of congressional seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The U.S. Constitution requires that every “person” be counted, regardless of the person’s status in the United States. Trump’s argument is that including undocumented immigrants would create incentives to encourage violations of the Federal Law for high undocumented immigrant states such as California. This is the Trump Administration’s second attempt at changing the census after trying to add a citizenship question last year. For more information, please click here.
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