WASHINGTON—Late Monday, the League of Women Voters of the United States and the Leagues of Women Voters of California, Florida, and Texas filed an amicus brief in New York v. Trump, a case which challenges President Trump’s executive order to block undocumented individuals from being counted in the U.S. Census. The Leagues join in support of the plaintiffs.
“US Census data is meant to include all people living in our country, regardless of citizenship status,” said Dr. Deborah Turner, board president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. “The Constitutional clearly lays out the requirement to count every person. Census data is the foundation for determining the needs of the total US population. Undermining this constitutional mandate weakens every community in America. Undocumented individuals are a vital part of the fabric of this nation.”
The Leagues previously filed briefs in support of plaintiffs in several other cases challenging the president’s order throughout the country, including New York Immigration Coalition v. Trump—which was consolidated with New York v. Trump—City of San Jose v. Trump, and Common Cause v. Trump.
“California immigrant populations are essential to our local economy, and they deserve to be included in the census count,” said Stephanie Doute, executive director of the League of Women Voters of California. “A count that excludes undocumented individuals would severely misrepresent the full diverse picture of California’s workforce, student population, and community life.”
“Leaving undocumented immigrants out of our census count will result in a partial count of all Florida residents,” said Patti Brigham, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “Every Floridian depends on full and accurate census data to adequately fund our roads, schools, and healthcare services. Eliminating an entire population from our count will hurt our entire state.”
“The League of Women Voters of Texas stands by our immigrant communities, who are inextricable from the fabric of our state,” said Grace Chimene, president of the League of Women Voters of Texas. “We all depend on each other here in Texas, and when some of us are excluded, it hurts all of us. The League of Women Voters will not allow our immigrant communities to be treated as if they don’t count.”
The states of California, Florida, and Texas are home to large immigrant populations, and the administration’s order to exclude these populations would result in an undercount in these states. As part of their commitment to defending and upholding a healthy democracy, the Leagues in California, Florida, and Texas worked with US Census officials to help reach hard-to-count communities—including immigrant communities—in order to ensure an accurate count of “the whole number of persons in each State,” as required by Section 2 of the US Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.
The League is represented by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
“Ensuring an accurate census and apportionment base is at the heart of American government,” said Blaine Green, lead counsel on the case from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. “By excluding undocumented immigrants from the apportionment base, the Presidential Memorandum undermines trust in the Constitutional promise of representative democracy. As we explain in our amicus brief for the League of Women Voters, the Supreme Court should find the Memorandum violates the Constitution and federal statutory law.”
Contact Elizabeth Leslie, LWVC Communications Manager, eleslie [at] lwvc.org