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'unlawful' Coalition

‘Unlawful’: Coalition of states sues Trump over bid to omit undocumented immigrants from census – NBC News

A coalition of 20 states and 15 cities and counties filed suit Friday to block President Donald Trump’s memo directing undocumented immigrants be excluded from the 2020 census count for purposes of deciding how many members of Congress are apportioned to each state, calling it “unlawful.”

The suit, filed in New York federal court, charges that Trump’s directive shows “blatant disregard of an unambiguous constitutional command” — the 14th Amendment’s directive that “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State.”

“For 150 years — since the United States recognized the whole personhood of those formerly bound in slavery — the unambiguous requirement that all persons be counted for apportionment purposes, regardless of immigration status, has been respected by every executive official, every cabinet officer, and every President. Until now,” the suit said.

The Trump memo, signed earlier this week, said it will be the “policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

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It directs Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the census, to provide the president with data about the number of people who are undocumented so that when census officials present Trump with the final count, he can exclude them from the population totals used to determine how many House seats each state will have.

The lawsuit questions how the directive could feasibly be carried out, noting the administration “cannot reliably exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment count” because there are no accurate estimates of the undocumented population on a state-by-state basis. Any effort to remove undocumented immigrants from the census count using unreliable data is “arbitrary and capricious” and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, the suit said.

If the Trump move is successful, it could have a major impact on states with large numbers of undocumented residents, such as New York and California. A lower population count in the census would mean fewer seats in Congress, and potentially fewer federal dollars as well, the suit noted.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who’s leading the lawsuit, called the proclamation “the latest in a long list of anti-immigrant actions” by the president.

“No one ceases to be a person because they lack documentation, which is why we filed this lawsuit,” James said.

Another of the plaintiffs in the case, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, called Trump’s actions “a clear breach of the U.S. Constitution and a blatant attempt to politicize a non-partisan process by targeting certain groups of people and advancing a biased agenda.”

The suit seeks an order declaring the president’s proclamation unlawful.

The Department of Justice, which would defend the case in court, did not immediately respond to an email for comment.

The administration tried last year to add a citizenship question to the census for the first time in 60 years, but the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the move.

Image: Dareh GregorianDareh Gregorian

Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News.

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'unlawful' Calls

Wolf calls DACA ‘unlawful’ after Supreme Court blocked Trump administration from ending program | TheHill – The Hill

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad WolfChad WolfSunday shows preview: Bolton delivers bombshell while US tackles COVID-19, police brutality Trump admin used drones, helicopters to surveil George Floyd protests in 15 cities Acting DHS Secretary: Supreme Court DACA ruling ‘usurps the clear authority of executive branch’ MORE said Sunday the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is “unlawful,” just days after the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration from ending the program. 

“What we know is the program is clearly unlawful. And I would point you back to the Supreme Court decision. At no point in that decision did they say that the program was lawful. They simply didn’t like the rationale and the procedures that we used. And I find that a little troubling,” Wolf said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”  

Wolf said the Trump administration is seeking other ways to end the Obama-era program that shields nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation. 

“We’re continuing to look at the opinion that the court produced this week, making sure that we adhere to that. But we are going to end an unlawful program,” Wolf said. “As the acting secretary of Homeland Security, I don’t have the luxury to ignore the law. The program’s unlawful. We need to solve it. The president’s begging Congress, has been for the last two and a half years to solve this problem. We’re willing to sit down at the table and negotiate with them.”

The court ruled in a 5-4 decision on Thursday that the administration failed to give an adequate justification for terminating the DACA program. 

The program is open to an estimated 1.3 million noncitizens eligible for DACA by virtue of having been brought to the U.S. as children and who have maintained residency and meet other criteria.  

The Supreme Court’s decision does not prevent the Trump administration from working to rescind the DACA program in the future.

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