The government of President Donald Trump is playing this Monday in the U.S. Supreme Court one of its most controversial measures against undocumented immigrants, trying to exclude them from the census with which they are assigned districts in the House of Representatives.
At least three federal courts around the country have blocked the Trump Government’s plan, which means an unprecedented change with millionaire repercussions for the states where these immigrants live.
Last September, a federal court in New York said that Trump’s order last July violated the U.S. Executive’s “constitutional responsibilities” to “count the full number of persons in each state and apportion the members of the House of Representatives among the states according to the respective numbers.
Judges in California and Maryland issued similar rulings.
The Administration decided to appeal to the Supreme Court after its defeat in New York.
After pressure from the White House, the Supreme Court decided to expedite its review of the plan to exclude from the count the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country.
The Court, which has a conservative majority, including three judges appointed by Trump, is scheduled to hear an oral argument this Monday in an 80-minute hearing to be held by teleconference.
The census is conducted in the United States every 10 years by constitutional mandate, and the purpose of counting all persons present in the country is the allocation of state representation in Congress and the Electoral College, and of billions of dollars for infrastructure programs, hospitals, schools and social assistance.
If the Trump order is implemented, California and Texas could lose representation in Congress.
Due to the incidence of the pandemic, the Census Bureau is behind schedule in its task of delivering the final figures, and internal sources have already said that the data could not be delivered until January 26, that is, days after Trump leaves the White House, which is a severe blow to the Government’s attempt to exclude the undocumented.
In 2019, the Trump administration lost a legal battle on this issue when it tried to have the census questionnaire include a question about the citizenship of residents in the country. The fight ended with a Supreme Court decision unfavourable to the president.