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Census, Apportionment and All Immigrants

Trump administration issued a Presidential memorandum in July 2020 that will prohibit undocumented immigrants from being counted in the apportionment following the 2020 census. Under this memorandum, he wants the undocumented to be subtracted from the census numbers for purposes of apportionment.

In a separate memorandum, he also wants to have the census concluded by the end of September 2020.

Lawsuits were filed against Trump opposing both these policies.

In the first case, the Federal Judge issued an order blocking the Census Bureau from laying off staff and halting in person counting efforts. A hearing will be held on September 17 where the plaintiffs are arguing for more time to count.

In the other case filed, NY v. Trump the Plaintiffs alleged that the Presidential Memorandum violates statutes governing the census and apportionment. The Court ruled against Trump in favor of the plaintiffs on the grounds that there may not be two (2) sets of numbers, one from the decennial census and another set that will be used for apportionment. There should only be one set of numbers and that is from the decennial census. Secondly, even those who are in unlawful immigration status qualify under the definition of “persons in” a “State” as Congress used those words. On these bases, the Presidential Memorandum was declared to be an unlawful exercise of the authority granted to the President by statute.

Data derived will be used to determine congressional districts, for distribution of federal funds. These funds will in turn be used to finance federal benefits and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, highway construction etc.. which apportionment of funds will be based on population based on the number derived from census which includes people living in each district.

It is important for all residents of the United States to fill up the census if they have not already. Every person counts regardless of immigration status.

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