Sep 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Court blocks Trump's move to exclude undocumented immigrants from census

Trump stands in a suit and tie while speaking

President Trump on Sept. 10. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A three-judge federal court in New York on Thursday blocked the Trump administration's push to exclude undocumented immigrants from influencing congressional apportionment as determined by the 2020 Census.

Why it matters: Removing unauthorized immigrants from the census this year would cause California, Texas and Florida to lose at least one House seat they otherwise would have been awarded based on respective population increases, the Pew Research Center found this summer.

The big picture: Eight legal challenges emerged in response to Trump's executive memo to alter the census in July, per NPR.

  • There are less than three weeks to go before the U.S. Census ends. The count has been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic thwarting in-person events, door-knocking campaigns and other response strategies, Axios' Kim Hart reports.

What they're saying: “This is a huge victory for voting rights and for immigrants' rights," Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, said in a statement. "President Trump has tried and failed yet again to weaponize the census against immigrant communities. The law is clear — every person counts in the census."

  • When signing the memo on the census, Trump claimed in a statement there "used to be a time when you could proudly declare, 'I am a citizen of the United States.' But now, the radical left is trying to erase the existence of this concept and conceal the number of illegal aliens in our country."

What's next: Thursday's ruling is likely to be appealed straight to the Supreme Court, NPR reports.

Go deeper