Federal judges block White House order to exclude illegal immigrants from the 2020 Census


On Thursday, a panel of three federal judges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York blocked a White House order to exclude illegal immigrants from the 2020 Census. ~

On July 21, the Trump administration issued a memorandum instructing Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the Census Bureau to exclude illegal immigrants from the apportionment counts. Since the 2020 census does not include a citizenship question, the bureau is relying on other forms of data, including state databases, to determine the number of illegal immigrants.  The court’s decision is yet another setback for the Trump administration and the Republican Party regarding the census and the nation’s electoral landscape. Last year, the Supreme Court stopped the president from adding a citizenship question to the census. The issue of counting illegal immigrants for the purpose of determining the allocation of electoral votes has been a hotly-debated issue, especially after Trump brought it into the national conversation. ~

The three-judge panel argued that President Donald Trump’s executive order “violates his constitutional responsibility to count the whole number of persons in each State and to apportion members of the House of Representatives among the States according to their respective numbers.” The judges prohibited Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose agency oversees the U.S. Census Bureau, from excluding people in the country illegally when handing in 2020 census figures used to calculate how many congressional seats each state receives (Daily Mail). ~

According to the judges, the presidential order violated laws governing the execution of the once-a-decade census and also the process for redrawing congressional districts known as apportionment by requiring that two sets of numbers be presented – one with the total count and the other dealing with people living in the country illegally. The judges said that those in the country illegally qualify as people to be counted in the states they reside. They declined to say whether the order violated the Constitution. ~


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