Federal Judges Block Trump’s Order To Exclude Illegal Immigrants From Census

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
AP featured image
President Donald Trump is joined by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr, right, as he speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)


The left is still attempting to use illegal immigrants to maintain an electoral advantage. Federal judges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York blocked a White House order to exclude illegal immigrants from the 2020 Census. 

The three-judge panel argued that President Donald Trump’s executive order violates his “constitutional responsibility to count the whole number of persons in each State and to apportion members of the House of Representatives among the States according to their respective numbers.”

“The President is not free to substitute his own view of what is most ‘consonant with the principles of representative democracy’ for the view that Congress already chose,” the panel wrote in its unsigned opinion. The panel was made up of two judges that were appointed by Republican presidents and one who was appointed by a Democrat. 

Naturally, the left has celebrated the judges’ decision. New York Attorney General Letitia James gave a statement to The Hill lauding the move. “President Trump’s repeated attempts to hinder, impair, and prejudice an accurate census and the subsequent apportionment have failed once again,” she said. “The courts have ruled in our favor on every census matter in the last two years and continually rejected President Trump’s unlawful efforts to manipulate the census for political purposes.”


Dale Ho, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, represented one of the groups that filed the lawsuit challenging Trump’s order. “This is a huge victory for voting rights and for immigrants’ rights,” he 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.”

On July 21, the Trump administration issued a memorandum instructing Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the Census Bureau to exclude illegal immigrants from the apportionment counts. Since the 2020 census does not include a citizenship question, the bureau is relying on other forms of data, including state databases, to determine the number of illegal immigrants. 

The court’s decision is yet another setback for the Trump administration and the Republican Party regarding the census and the nation’s electoral landscape. Last year, the Supreme Court stopped the president from adding a citizenship question to the census. 

The issue of counting illegal immigrants for the purpose of determining the allocation of electoral votes has been a hotly-debated issue, especially after Trump brought it into the national conversation. The fact of the matter is that the Democrats benefit from the inclusion of illegals in the census. 


People who enter the United States in violation of immigration laws tend to migrate to states that make it easier for them to avoid deportation. With the prevalence of sanctuary laws in states like California, it makes sense that these individuals would settle in these locations. 

With illegal immigrants beefing up the populations of blue states, the Democrats enjoy more electoral votes and more seats in the House of Representatives. This is one of several reasons why progressives are so adamant about pushing for a weaker approach to immigration. For the time being, it appears the Trump administration has suffered a defeat. But chances are, this battle is not over yet.


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