State Watch

Newsom rips Trump order targeting undocumented immigrants in census: ‘Rooted in racism’

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday denounced President Trump’s order aiming to block undocumented immigrants from being counted in the 2020 census for the purpose of determining congressional districts, calling it a racist attack on the country’s institutions. 

“Counting every person in our country through the Census is a principle so foundational that it is written into our Constitution,” Newsom said in a statement. “This latest action by the administration to exclude undocumented immigrants when determining representation in Congress, rooted in racism and xenophobia, is a blatant attack on our institutions and our neighbors.” 

Trump earlier Tuesday signed a memorandum that the White House described as a measure “excluding illegal aliens from the apportionment base following the 2020 Census.” The memo, which prompted immediate vows from advocacy groups to fight it in court, marked the latest effort from the Trump administration to change the way the U.S. census is recorded. 

The order claims that the president has final say over transmitting the census report to Congress and that the Constitution grants the executive branch the authority to “exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status.”

“Excluding these illegal aliens from the apportionment base is more consonant with the principles of representative democracy underpinning our system of Government,” the order states.

Trump said the order would push back on the “radical left” that is trying to “conceal the number of illegal aliens in our country.”

In response, Newsom sought to offer support for immigrant communities in his state targeted by the memorandum.

“In California, we will not back down from our historic work to achieve a fair and accurate Census count,” he said. “To all Californians, including members of our immigrant communities, know that this is your home, and it is your right to be counted here.”

The Trump administration has made efforts to alter the census count as part of its efforts to enforce stricter immigration policies in the U.S. The Commerce Department attempted to add a citizenship question for the 2020 count. However, the Supreme Court last year ruled against the effort, finding that officials had not provided an adequate reason for the question’s inclusion. 

The new policy would take aim at the census’s apportionment effect but have no impact over the federal funds a community receives. 

Trump has tangled with officials from California repeatedly on issues related to immigration throughout his time in the White House. Earlier this month, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) filed a lawsuit against the administration over a policy that would have forced international university students to leave the U.S. if their schools did not offer in-person classes this fall. 

The administration rescinded the policy on July 14 following a slate of lawsuits challenging the measure.

Tags Donald Trump Gavin Newsom Xavier Becerra

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