President Issues Memorandum Excluding Non-Citizens from Census Count

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LOS ANGELES—As local government agencies assess the magnitude of the detriment that could be caused by the recent Presidential Memorandum by the Trump administration, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas urges the National Association of Counties (NACO) and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) to take action.

In his recent letters, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas urged both organizations to take action to oppose the Presidential Memorandum excluding non-citizens from the apportionment base following the 2020 United States Census.

On July 21, 2020 the Trump Administration issued a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Commerce titled “Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens from the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census.” It is the latest in anti-immigrant action by the Executive Branch.

Earlier this year, the Trump Administration attempted to insert a citizenship question in the United States (U.S.) Census (Census). This effort was defeated when Attorney General Becerra and his coalition, which included Los Angeles County, secured a victory in their lawsuit to oppose the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The district court ruled that the citizenship question was unconstitutional and unlawful. On June 28, 2019 the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion deciding the legal challenge brought by many states on this issue.

As a result, on August 1, 2019, the district court entered final judgment permanently enjoining the Secretary of Commerce from including a citizenship question on the 2020 Census questionnaire and from asking a citizenship question as part of the 2020 Census.