SACRAMENTO, October 22, 2020 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — joined by the cities of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland, as well as the Los Angeles Unified School District and County of Los Angeles — today secured a critical court victory blocking President Trump’s unlawful census memo on Congressional apportionment. The memo was a last-minute attempt by the Trump Administration to circumvent the Constitution and alter the census’s long-standing process for determining Congressional representation. Shortly after the memo was announced, the California coalition quickly filed suit in July and today’s injunction comes after the court granted the state’s request for an expedited hearing process. As a result of today’s decision, every person who completes the census — as has been the case for centuries — will continue to count.
“A complete, accurate census count is critical for ensuring Californians are heard in Congress — and that we get the resources we need to protect the health and well-being of our communities,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Today’s decision is a critical victory for us all. It’s past time for the President to recognize that you can’t sidestep the Constitution. Whether it’s at the polls or through the census, we all have to do our part to make our voices heard.”
On July 21, 2020, the Trump Administration issued a memorandum aimed at excluding undocumented immigrants from being counted in the 2020 Census for the purposes of Congressional apportionment. The administration’s memorandum ignored that the U.S. Constitution requires that each state’s representation in Congress reflect all persons, including children, women, and all immigrants. The U.S. Constitution requires an actual enumeration — a count of each person — of the country’s total population every 10 years.
The results of the census determine state representation in Congress as well as the distribution of crucial federal funding. Billions of dollars are at stake, money that California gets back from taxes paid to the federal government each year to fund programs and services that support the health and well-being of our communities. California cannot afford an undercount — it is critical for everyone to be counted, regardless of their immigration status, and census data is protected by law. Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, census data is strictly confidential and can only be used for statistical purposes. Information provided cannot be used against residents by any government agency or court of law. For more than two hundred years, that’s the way it has always been.
A copy of today’s decision is available here.