Trump’s admin can’t exclude undocumented immigrants from the census. What does this mean going forward?

Trump’s admin can’t exclude undocumented immigrants from the census. What does this mean going forward?

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By: Rebecca Anderson

Last week, The Trump Administration was blocked by a three-person panel in New York from excluding undocumented immigrants from the census totals used to determine how many seats will be selected for congress.

According to The Guardian, President Trump acted unlawfully when he asked for data and information from the commerce department that omitted undocumented immigrants.

This would also go against the 14th amendment.

Federal Law states that only a single data source – the census count of total population – can be used to apportion the 435 seats in the U.S. House among states, the judges wrote. The decennial census does not ask about citizenship status and by requesting a second set of data outside of the decennial census, Trump ran afoul of the law.

Much is at stake for local communities when it comes to the census, according to USA Today. The count is used to distribute more than $860 billion in federal funding for schools, health systems and infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

Many disadvantaged and highly populated neighborhoods are filled with undocumented immigrants, and if they are not appropriately accounted for, could leave them without proper resources and funding.

According to Politico, The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the administration, one of several challenging Trump’s memo. The ACLU argued that the change could cause some states, like California, to lose seats in Congress if this data wasn’t included.

“Congress mandated that the president use a specific set of numbers – those produced by the decennial census itself – for purposes of the reapportionment,” the panel wrote. “By deviating from that mandate, the presidential memorandum exceeds the authority of the president.”

Trump argued in his July executive action, submitted to Politico, that the Constitution doesn’t detail how to define persons in a jurisdiction for census-taking purposes.

Because there is no citizenship question on the 2020 census, the bureau is using other sources of data, such as state databases, to calculate the number of undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.