Supreme Court reviews Trump’s plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from redeployment

Excluding millions of immigrants from the census would have a big impact.

But first, the U.S. Supreme Court must sign it.

Monday’s judges will hear oral arguments about Trump’s efforts – which have already been rejected twice by lower federal courts – that would stem from more than a century of precedent in determining the division of 435 congressional districts in 50 states.

If successful, it would increase the influence of predominantly conservative, republican states and rural communities, while diverting resources from more liberal, democratic states and urban areas.

Since taking office, Trump has sought to minimize the influence of non-citizens in U.S. politics by ousting them from the count.

After the Supreme Court blocked an attempt in 2019 to include an explicit citizenship question on the census form, Trump instructed the Census Bureau to rely on existing government data to trace undocumented immigrants in each state — and then the number is subtracted from the total amount.

“For the purpose of reallocating MPs after the 2020 census, U.S. policy is to exclude foreigners who do not have legal immigration status from the dividend fund,” Trump wrote in a July memorandum.

A coalition of 20 states, led by New York, 10 cities, five counties and a handful of immigrant advocacy groups, immediately challenged the move. Trump’s plan was called a clear violation of the constitution and a “arbitrary and capricious” decision that violated federal law governing administrative procedures.

In the legal notice, the parties cite an “unbroken historical and legislative practice” that has spread over the Census Bureau for more than 200 years, counting “millions of undocumented immigrants who have lived here for decades who want to stay and will actually stay … (like) ordinary residents according to traditional criteria. “

In September, a three-judge panel in New York sided with states against Trump, calling the issue “not particularly close or complicated.” Last month, a separate California judiciary also dealt a blow to the administration, saying, “It seeks what Congress has not allowed and for which the president has no power.”

An estimated 10.5 million immigrants living in the United States have no legal status, according to a Pew Research Center analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Pew found that the majority of immigrants live in only six states – California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois – where the largest populations are concentrated around major cities.

Excluding these communities from the census used to divide congresses would mean reduced representation in Congress and less federal resources from health care to education and infrastructure programs.

California, Florida and Texas alike would get at least one less seat in the U.S. House than they would otherwise if Trump’s plan went ahead, according to a July Pew analysis.

Alabama, Minnesota and Ohio would all be given seats they would otherwise lose due to population change, the group estimates.

Just 10 days before he leaves office, on January 10, 2021, Trump is required by law to advise Congress on the outcome of the 2020 census and how many representatives each state should receive.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule before that date.