Posted on September 11, 2020

Federal Court Blocks Trump Order to Exclude Illegal Immigrants from Census Count

Brittany Bernstein, National Review, September 11, 2020

A federal court in New York on Thursday blocked President Trump’s order to exclude illegal immigrants from being counted in the census for the purpose of redrawing congressional districts.

A three-judge panel wrote that the president’s July 21 memorandum would violate a statute that says apportionment must be based on the number of U.S. residents in a given district, which the judges said encompasses everyone living there, regardless of legal status.

“The Presidential Memorandum violates the statutes governing the census and apportionment in two clear respects,” the judges wrote in their opinion. “First, pursuant to the virtually automatic scheme established by these interlocking statutes, the Secretary is mandated to report a single set of numbers — “[t]he tabulation of total population by States” under the decennial census — to the President, and the President, in turn, is required to use the same set of numbers in connection with apportionment.”

The ruling, which came as a result of a lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James along with 20 attorneys general, 14 cities and counties across the country, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, found the president’s order to be “an unlawful exercise of the authority granted to the President.”


The ruling is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.