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Court blocks Trump admin action to exclude unauthorized immigrants from Census
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By Eric Revell, Countable News
What’s the story?
- A panel of three federal judges on Thursday issued a decision blocking the Trump administration’s effort to exclude unauthorized immigrants from data collected by the Census this year during the process of apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives between the states.
- The decision was handed down by a special panel of two circuit court judges and a district court judge after the case was brought in the U.S. Southern District of New York. The ruling may be appealed directly to the Supreme Court by the Trump administration.
- Historically, the Census hasn’t made any official distinction between U.S. citizens and non-citizens, and counted both for the purpose of apportionment, although a citizenship question has occasionally been included in the decennial Census and in the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey.
- The Trump administration argues that only citizens should be counted because they have the ability to vote. An effort it undertook to formally include a citizenship question in the Census was unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court in June 2019, as justices found that the administration failed to adequately justify its decision without reaching a decision on the merits of whether such a question is constitutional.
- In addition to this case, similar lawsuits about whether to count unauthorized immigrants in the apportionment process are on the dockets of other federal courts across the country.
- The state of Alabama is party to an ongoing suit it filed in 2018, which contends that it would be unfairly disadvantaged by counting unauthorized immigrants in the Census because it would likely lose a seat in its House delegation. Suits aiming to block the Trump administration’s action have also been filed in California, Massachusetts, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
(Photo Credit: weiss_paarz_photos via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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