Yesterday, a three-judge panel in Federal District Court in Manhattan blocked President Trump’s Memo to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census count used to allocate seats in Congress. The judges found that the Memo violates federal law and everyone living in the U.S. must be counted for apportionment purposes regardless of their legal status.
The case involved lawsuits brought by two sets of plaintiffs, one a group of state and local governments, including Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and the second a coalition of advocacy groups and other nongovernmental organizations. The groups argued that the President’s order would result in a loss of representation in the House and lead to a less accurate Census count.
“The Court’s decision yesterday is a win for all families and communities and will have positive lasting effects for the next ten years. The Trump Administration has used an arsenal of tactics to intimidate undocumented and mixed-status households, to discourage immigrants from participating in the Census,” said Eva A. Millona, MIRA Coalition President and CEO and Chair of the Statewide Complete Count Committee. “Massachusetts has 1.2 million immigrants. An accurate count of everyone, including the roughly 250,000 who are undocumented, is essential with consequences that will be with us for the next decade. The count matters politically-affecting representation in Congress and local and state government. We must continue to work hard and make sure everyone is counted in the 2020 Census.”