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Alabama sues US Census Bureau over including undocumented immigrants in 2020 census

[JURIST] The state of Alabama and US Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL) [official website] filed a lawsuit [complaint] against the US Department of Commerce and the US Census Bureau on Monday over its inclusion of undocumented immigrants in the 2020 census.

Alabama's complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama [official website], surrounds the 2020 Census Residence Criteria and Residence Situations [text], which is a rule promulgated by the US Census Bureau. Alabama's general reasons for objecting to this rule are:


  1. The inclusion of undocumented immigrants would cause the state to lose seat in Congress and an Electoral vote to another state with a faster growing population.

  2. This inclusion violates the 14th Amendment [text] representation rights of Alabama citizens by redistributing the Alabama citizens' political power amongst the states with higher undocumented immigrant populations.

  3. The rule is contrary to the federal government's constitutional obligation under Article I [text] to conduct an "actual enumeration" of people in the state saying the Founders understood that to include legal aliens.

  4. Apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives and Electoral College based on population data including undocumented immigrants is contrary to Section 2 of the 14th amendment and Articles I and II [text] of the Constitution regarding further discussion of "actual Enumeration" of the population.

  5. The U.S. Census Bureau's rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) for being arbitrary and capricious outside the bounds of its authority by failing to adequately support its decision to include undocumented immigrants in the apportionment scheme.

Alabama seeks relief from the courts through a declaration that the rule is unconstitutional and for the Census Bureau to issue a new rule.

Several other states and organizations [JURIST reports] have also filed lawsuits over the upcoming census, arguing that the inclusion of a citizenship question is unconstitutional.

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