(San Francisco) – A three-judge federal panel in California has ruled that the Census bureau’s plan to give the White House a count of the nation’s unauthorized immigrants is unconstitutional, and cannot be used when reapportioning seats for the U.S. House of Representatives. The ruling finds that citizens would face substantial harm to their voting representation, federal funding and redistricting if unauthorized immigrants were to be excluded. In addition, the constitution requires a count of all people living in the United states. The following are statements from parties to the lawsuit:
Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: “The court’s decision pulls the rug out from beneath the Trump Administration’s attempt to manipulate the Census results in a way that would harm our underrepresented and most vulnerable communities, depriving them of the political representation to which they are entitled. Removing undocumented immigrants from the Census count not only flies against the express wording of the Constitution and over two centuries of consistent practice, but also is a brazen and unprecedented injection of partisanship into the Census process. And it is another example of the way this administration has dehumanized immigrant populations.”
Rick Bress, partner, Latham & Watkins LLP: “We are gratified by the ruling, and appreciate the Court’s validation of two simple but undeniable facts: The President’s order is manifestly unconstitutional and the issue is ripe for judicial review. The ruling also reinforces a key principle of this once-in-a-decade tally – that, regardless of their legal status, the millions of undocumented immigrants who live, work, attend school, and raise their children in our communities are inhabitants of this country and must under the Constitution be counted among ‘the whole number of persons in each state.’”
Read the ruling here.
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. 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://lawyerscommittee.org.