Court Blocks Trump’s Last Minute Attempt to Exclude Undocumented Individuals from 2020 Census

New York, NY—Today, a three-judge panel of the Southern District of New York ruled on New York Immigration Coalition V. Trump, a suit brought by the New York Immigration Coalition and partners. The ruling blocked the Trump administration's efforts to make an unprecedented change to the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the country — leaving out unauthorized immigrants from the Census numbers that determine each state's share of seats in Congress. The panel’s decision will likely be appealed directly to the US Supreme Court. The news comes with 20 days left before the 2020 Census ends on September 30. New Yorkers can respond to the Census online.

After the panel issued their ruling, Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement.

“When it comes to matters of the Census, the scoreboard reads: immigrant advocates 2, Trump 0. Today’s ruling is a victory for every American who cares about the health of our democracy. By blocking the Trump administration’s second crude attempt to manipulate the Census to exclude immigrant communities, the courts have made it clear that Trump cannot ignore the US Constitution to politicize the 2020 Census. This ruling emphasizes that all of us — including all immigrant New Yorkers — count for the Census, as the Constitution makes clear.”

But with only 20 days to go before the 2020 Census ends, we don’t have time to celebrate! This ruling is a signal that we must redouble our efforts to assure immigrant communities that they can and must participate in the Census safely, and as required by law. There’s too much on the line for New Yorkers to let the Trump administration's fear tactics rob us of political power or billions of dollars that we desperately need to rebuild our economy and strengthen our infrastructure over the next ten years.”


Today’s ruling marks the second time NYIC successfully fought President Trump’s attempts to politicize the Census in the courts. In 2019, NYIC successfully brought its challenge of the “citizenship question” to the US Supreme Court, resulting in a ruling blocking the question. Filed on July 24, this recent complaint challenged “President Trump’s lawless attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from the ‘persons’ who must be counted in the Census for purposes of apportioning congressional seats to states.” Plaintiffs included the New York Immigration Coalition, Make the Road New York, CASA, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, ADC Research Institute, and FIEL Houston. On August 4, 2020, the suit was consolidated with another suit filed by New York and several other states into New York V. Trump.