Supreme Court Set to Review Trump Administration’s Plan to Exclude Undocumented Immigrants from Official Census Count

According to a report from ABC News, the Supreme Court of the United States is set to review a Trump Administration plan that would exclude millions of undocumented immigrants from the official census statistics. In effect, the outgoing administration proposal would shift billions of dollars of federal funding out of communities with high numbers of immigrants. Here, our California immigration law advocates provide an overview of the upcoming case and explain the stakes.

Census Plan Would Deny Representation, Resources from Many Immigrant Communities

The Trump Administration has repeatedly tried to alter the U.S. census process. In 2019, the Supreme Court blocked the administration from including a citizenship question. As noted by many experts, the question would have reduced the response rate among undocumented immigrants—thereby resulting in a systematic undercount. In light of the Trump Administration’s harsh immigration enforcement tactics, many undocumented immigrants were afraid to respond to the census.

The Trump Administration’s latest proposal is more direct: Undocumented immigrants would simply be excluded from the official census county. Taken once every ten years, the census numbers are used to determine political representation in Washington and each district’s share of federal funding. Communities with high numbers of undocumented immigrants would lose out on representation and resources.

Southern California Faces Disproportionate Impact

According to data collected and published by the Pew Research Center, a disproportionate number of undocumented immigrants lived in California, particularly in Southern California. Indeed, nearly one quarter of the entire undocumented immigrant population in the United States resides in the state.

As a consequence, our region faces a severely disproportionate impact from the Trump Administration’s proposal. California could lose a portion of its voice in congress and significant federal dollars. Of course, California is not the only state that would lose out. All across the country, representation and resources would be shifted away from places undocumented immigrants live and to places that immigrants do not live.

Supreme Court Could Prevent Implementation of Plan

President Trump’s attempt to change the rules as he leaves office is not yet in effect. A group made up of 20 states, including California, is challenging the ruling. Petitioners argue that, in breaking with more than 200 years of historical precedent, the Trump Administration’s proposed census change is “arbitrary and capricious” and a violation of federal law. A three-judge panel based in New York already ruled against the Trump Administration on this issue earlier this year. Now, the final decision rests with a conservative-led Supreme Court.

Contact Our Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer for a Confidential Consultation

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our Los Angeles immigration law team is committed to finding effective, reliable solutions for our clients. We will protect your legal rights. Call our firm now for completely confidential legal guidance and support. With a law office in Los Angeles, we are proud to represent people and families throughout Southern California, including in Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Inglewood, Anaheim, and Santa Monica.

Josh Goldstein
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