NEW YORK, December 18, 2020 – New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court vacated a lower court order blocking the Trump Administration’s plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment base following the 2020 Decennial Census, citing the need to wait to see what actions the Trump Administration will take:
“President Trump’s efforts to pick and choose who to include in the apportionment base of the census is as illegal today as it was when he made this announcement. All today’s decision does is kick the can down the road until this lame-duck president knows whether he will receive the data he needs to violate the Constitution and the Census Act with the few weeks he has left in office. The law is clear — every person residing in the U.S. during the census, regardless of legal status, must be counted — and any further efforts by the president or his administration to violate the law will be met with fierce opposition, and we are confident we will win. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to stop the president from putting politics above the law.”
In July, Attorney General James led a coalition of states, cities, and counties in filing a lawsuit against President Trump, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and others after they announced that they would leave millions of undocumented immigrants out of the apportionment base that follows the decennial census count. The lawsuit sought to stop the Trump Administration from violating the longstanding constitutional and statutory requirements to count the “whole number of persons” residing in each state for apportionment, without regard to immigration status. In August, Attorney General James filed a motion for summary judgment in the case, which was granted in September by a three-judge court that stated that the president’s plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment base was unlawful. The Trump Administration appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the case was argued at the end of November.