Today, Leah Aden, Deputy Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s executive order, “Excluding Illegal Immigrants From the Apportionment Base:”
“President Trump’s executive order seeking to bar undocumented immigrant people from being counted in the U.S. Census is wholly illegal and unconstitutional. It represents another blatant attempt by this administration to illegally engage in targeted discrimination against immigrant people, many of whom are Black and people of color. After losing before the Supreme Court on the inclusion of a citizenship status question on the Census short form, this executive order and the attempted use of inaccurate citizenship data to alter the Census count is an end-run around the Constitution and federal law.
“This executive order clearly lies counter to historical precedent, which has repeatedly established the importance of counting everyone in the Census, regardless of their citizenship status. As a matter of fact, people’s statuses are not static and may change, though data collected by the Census impacts all of our lives for at least an entire decade. It is also completely infeasible to execute, as the Census does not contain questions about citizenship status — thanks to lawsuits and other advocacy that already stopped this administration from trying this scheme. It is abundantly clear that the premise of this executive order is to politicize the Census and scare people from participating in that monumental population count ahead of the November general election.
“President Trump’s new executive order on the Census also perpetuates an amoral and unjust message. Non-citizen residents of the United States make invaluable contributions to this country, financially and otherwise, and they deserve to have representation through the congressional apportionment process.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.