Experts Say Collecting Immigration Data Through US Census for Reapportionment Is Unconstitutional
added 26.07.2020 13:13
President Donald Trump’s bid to exclude undocumented immigrants from a census tabulation used to determine how many U.S. representatives are apportioned to each state is unworkable and unconstitutional, according to civil rights groups and several American cities and counties suing the administration.
In an executive order issued earlier this week, Trump directed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the U.S. Census Bureau, to present data as to the number of undocumented people counted by the census.
The administration would then exclude the undocumented from each state’s census count for the purpose of determining whether a state loses, gains or retains members in the House of Representatives, a process that occurs every 10 years.
But Howard University Constitutional Law Professor Steven Jamar told VOA the argument the administration is using deals with a subset of people – such as tourists and business travelers – who, though they might be counted in the census, are not counted for apportionment purposes.
In 2018, the state of Alabama filed litigation against the U.S. Census Bureau and argued the current system of apportioning congressional seats gives an unfair electoral advantage to states with more undocumented immigrants and that Alabamians would likely lose a congressional seat and an Electoral College vote if undocumented immigrants were counted.