(Washington, DC) – President Donald Trump issued a memorandum today targeting undocumented immigrants from being counted in the census. The move decimates the federal governments’ ability to collect critical information to fund hospitals, roads, schools and more. The following is a statement from Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
“After losing the battle to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, the Trump administration seeks to resurrect this fight through a memorandum that runs contrary to the Constitution, Supreme Court precedent and historical practice. Once again, the Trump administration is taking actions intended to sow chaos and disrupt efforts to secure a full count of communities of color in the 2020 Census. The constitutional mandate to count the whole number of persons in each state has a long and settled tradition of including all persons, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. Everyone in the United States relies on a full count of all persons for full political representation and for the fair allocation of millions of dollars in federal funding for public health, education, transportation and neighborhood improvements.”
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is currently involved in pending litigation, State of Alabama vs. U.S. Department of Commerce, et al., in the State of Alabama, challenging the residence rule which was promulgated by this Commerce Department to include all persons.
There is no basis to exclude persons from the census based on immigration status. The Fourteenth Amendment makes clear that the enumeration must include “the whole number of persons in each state.” The Constitution’s Census Clause and Fourteenth Amendment do not distinguish between citizens and non-citizens, or documented and undocumented immigrants. Nonetheless, Alabama seeks to exclude undocumented individuals from the Census count.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 55th year, the Lawyers’ Committee is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommitee.org.