Excluding Undocumented People from the Census

July 21, 2020

Sister District Project Releases Statement On Trump’s Memorandum To Exclude Undocumented People In Next Year’s Redistricting Process

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Sister District Project, a national grassroots organization working to build progressive power in state legislatures, released a statement on Trump’s memorandum that excludes undocumented people from being counted in next year’s redistricting process.

Today, President Trump signed an order to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted when new congressional districts are redrawn in 2021. To be clear: this facially unconstitutional order is a thinly veiled throwback to a shameful time in our history where black people only counted as 3/5ths of a person when it came to apportionment. In case there was any doubt, we now know what Trump means when he says “Make America Great Again.”

The Republican Party has only managed to stay in power through suppressing non-white representation in elections. This order not only dilutes voting populations by making them predominantly white, but also causes states with large immigrant populations including New York and California to lose important Congressional seats as well as federal funding. This order is a ploy to drain Democratic resources in the courts and fire up Trump’s xenophobic base, and it must be swiftly and thoroughly condemned.

The U.S Constitution explicitly states that congressional districts must be based on “the whole number of persons” in each district. Regardless of voting eligibility, local elected officials cannot truly represent all their constituents if undocumented people are not counted when redrawing maps. The redistricting process next year will determine electoral maps for the next decade, and if we are to continue to call ourselves a constitutional democracy, it must include all people.