In July of 2020, Trump signed a presidential memorandum that would exclude undocumented immigrants from the census.
The government uses the results of the census to draw district lines and calculate how many representatives each state can have in the House. The results also play a role in the distribution of federal funding for various programs.
Essentially, excluding undocumented immigrants would mean that areas of the country with a high percentage of undocumented immigrants would lose representatives and federal funding.
Fortunately, three federal judges found this memorandum to be unconstitutional, as the 14th amendment requires the federal government to include every person (regardless of immigration status) in the census. The Supreme Court eventually determined that they could not issue a final ruling due to a lack of official data regarding the number of undocumented immigrants that would be excluded.
In response to this determination, the Trump administration ordered the U.S. Census Bureau to begin counting the number of unauthorized immigrants residing in each state. However, the Bureau has just halted all work on fulfilling this request.
Even before this latest development, the Bureau was struggling to comply with Trump’s order due to irregularities in the census records and COVID-related complications. According to a Justice Department attorney, the count wouldn’t have been ready until March (at which point, Biden will have been President for more than a month).
Despite this timeline, the Bureau was pressured to release data as soon as possible, leading to a report by multiple whistleblowers who were concerned about the dangers of the rushed process.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that funds the bureau has stated that she will work closely with the Biden administration to resolve the above concerns and ensure the Bureau continues to uphold its constitutional obligations.
Biden, meanwhile, has made several ambitious immigration-related promises that may now be easier to accomplish because of a Democrat-controlled Senate. He did, however, warn the public that undoing the Trump administration’s policies may take several months at the very least. Fortunately, he has expressed staunch opposition to excluding undocumented immigrants from the census.
Let Us Help You Navigate This Uncertain Terrain
The Trump administration restricted the U.S. immigration system in countless ways, but many are hopeful of positive change in light of the 2020 election results. No matter what challenges the future holds, you can count on our team at Sebastian Simon Law Group, PLLC to fight for your rights and future. Founding Attorney Sebastian Simon has personally experienced the immigration process, which is why he works tirelessly to secure the best possible case results for each of his clients.