Trump Administration Appeals Block on Census Immigration Plan

By: - September 17, 2020 12:00 am

A 2020 census public service message “Everybody Counts” on a wall in Monterey Park, California. Kirby Lee/The Associated Press

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The Trump administration will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a ruling blocking its plan to exclude people living in the United States illegally from congressional representation.

A court filing Tuesday announced the appeal of a Sept. 10 decision by a federal appeals court in New York. That court ruled that President Donald Trump lacked authority to change the way congressional seats are allocated.

Experts have been skeptical about the feasibility of the plan to identify people living here illegally in this year’s census and exclude them from congressional apportionment. 

Millions of citizens and legal immigrants could be misclassified because they lack paper trails, especially in rural or tribal areas of states such as Alaska, New Mexico and West Virginia.

The lawsuit in New York was filed by immigrant advocates and joined by attorneys general in Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Vermont.

Excluding residents living here illegally would cost congressional seats for both red and blue states. California, Florida and Texas could lose a seat; states that could gain are Alabama, Minnesota and Ohio. 

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Tim Henderson
Tim Henderson

Tim Henderson covers demographics for Stateline. He has been a reporter at the Miami Herald, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Journal News.