The state of California sued the Trump administration Tuesday to demand that it count undocumented immigrants in the census for the purpose of assigning representation to Congress.
The lawsuit, led by the California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier Becerra NIGHT ENERGY: 20 states sue over Trump’s rule that limits states from blocking pipeline projects | House Democrats Add “Chemicals Forever” Provisions to Defense Bill After Raising Big Amendment | Lawmakers seek extension for tribes to spend stimulus money Newsom breaks Trump order targeting undocumented immigrants in census: ‘Rooted in racism’ 20 states sue over Trump rule limiting states to block projects pipes MORE (D) and several mayors in the state, says it would be unconstitutional for the Trump administration not to count undocumented people, and that it is an effort to strip at least one of the California House of Representatives districts.
“You cannot be a president of law and order if you continue to violate the law,” Becerra said in a statement. “This latest census attack is just that: it is illegal.
“President TrumpDonald John TrumpRead: Attorney General William Barr’s written testimony before the Barr House Judiciary Committee hoped to blame Democrats for efforts to ‘discredit him’ at the next hearing of 22 people facing federal charges in connection with the Portland protests. PLUS You still believe you can circumvent the United States Constitution. A complete and accurate count of the census is essential to ensure that we obtain the representation of Congress and the resources to which we are entitled, “he said.” For Californians who have not completed the census, go to it. Make your voice heard.
The lawsuit comes a week after Trump issued an order preventing undocumented immigrants from counting for representation in Congress after the White House was blocked last year from not adding a citizenship question to the decennial poll.
The order, which immediately sparked a series of legal challenges, argues that the president has the last word on the transmission of the final census report to Congress and that the Constitution does not explicitly define who should be included in the distribution determination.
California’s lawsuit states that the Constitution requires counting “the total number of people in each state,” thereby invalidating the order’s premise.
“Therefore, it is well established that all persons residing in the United States must be counted to comply with the Constitution’s ‘Royal Enumeration’ mandate for distribution by Congress,” the lawsuit says. “The unprecedented policy and orders of the Memorandum are unconstitutional and otherwise illegal. They threaten to seriously harm Plaintiffs … including depriving them of their legitimate share of representatives of Congress and depressing the count of the 2020 Census, which is ongoing. ”
California is home to millions of undocumented immigrants. She was already at risk of losing a seat in the House and an electoral vote given the demographic changes after the next census. The lawsuit warns that it could lose more than one district and notes that the state is specifically verified in Trump’s order.
“The Memorandum and the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from the census count will likely cause Plaintiffs to lose one or more seats in the United States House of Representatives and, consequently, one or more voters in the Electoral College. President Trump expressly states in the Memorandum that this is a primary purpose of excluding undocumented immigrants from the distribution count, the lawsuit says.
California’s lawsuit builds on mounting Democrats’ criticism of the order and joins a host of other legal efforts to block its implementation, sparking the possibility of another high-profile Supreme Court fight over the rule.
“We must call this what it is: another unconstitutional seizure of power by a president desperate to remove political influence from the places where many immigrants live. It did not work when he tried to force a question of illegal citizenship on the census, and he won It doesn’t work now, “said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer (D).