California has sued US President Donald Trump over his order prohibiting undocumented immigrants from being included in Census apportionment counts.
The complaint, filed Tuesday, argues that Trump’s order disturbs and undermines the historical precedent of the US counting “all of its residents, including for the purpose of apportioning the U.S. House of representatives, regardless of residents’ citizenship or immigration status.” Trump’s order is also alleged to be unconstitutional as it violates the Fourteenth Amendment and separation of powers. More specifically, the complaint argues that Trump has overstepped his executive authority by determining who would be included in the apportionment count, a task commonly left to the legislature.
Trump’s order will have allegedly detrimental effects on the state of California. More specifically, the suit claims the order will impair congressional, state-level and local redistricting efforts, increase the risk of a deferential Census undercount, cause California to lose one or more seats in the US House of Representatives and the Electoral college, and result in a loss of federal funding.
The complaint explains:
For 230 years, since the first national census in 1790, the United States has included in the census count not only citizens, but all immigrants, regardless of their legal immigration status. … Despite this historical practice and longstanding precedent, President Donald J. Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum on July 21, 2020, announcing a purported “policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status.” The Memorandum orders the Secretary of Commerce to take steps in furtherance of this unlawful policy, including by reporting to the President information that would permit the President to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment count. The Memorandum’s unprecedented policy and orders are unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful. They threaten to seriously harm Plaintiffs State of California, City of Los Angeles, city of Long Beach, city of Oakland, and Lost Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), including by depriving them of their rightful share of congressional representatives and by depressing the 2020 Census count itself, which remains ongoing.
The state of California seeks an injunction preventing Trump from excluding undocumented immigrants in the census apportionment counts.