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City of San Jose v. Trump

The City of San Jose and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration are leading a challenge to President Trump’s attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from the state-population totals that are produced by the 2020 Census and used for apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and votes in the Electoral College. This case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Last Updated: August 17, 2020
Published: July 29, 2020

Summary

The City of San Jose and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration are leading a challenge to President Trump’s attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from the state-population totals that are produced by the 2020 Census and used for apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and votes in the Electoral College. The plaintiffs argue that a July 21, 2020 White House memorandum directing the Commerce Secretary to report data on undocumented immigrants to President Trump violates the U.S. Constitution and the federal Census Act.

This case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Case Background

The City of San Jose, California, King County, Washington, Arlington County, Virginia and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration are suing President Donald Trump, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the Department of Commerce, the Census Bureau, Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham, and House Clerk Cheryl L. Johnson, arguing that the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census state-population totals used for apportioning congressional seats and Electoral College votes is unconstitutional and otherwise illegal.

The plaintiffs contend that the President’s July 21, 2020 memorandum on excluding undocumented immigrants from the state-population totals used to calculate the state apportionments violates constitutional and statutory requirements that the President include all persons in the congressional apportionment base, irrespective of citizenship or immigration status. The plaintiffs also contend that the memorandum violates the constitutional right to equal protection because it is motivated “by an intent to discriminate against Black and Latino people (generally, and, in particular, Black and Latino immigrants).”   

The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare that the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from congressional apportionment violates the Constitution and federal law. The plaintiffs are also asking the court to bar the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau from acting in any capacity to exclude undocumented persons from the apportionment base and to prevent the Clerk of the House from transmitting any apportionments to the states that exclude undocumented persons from the apportionment base.

On August 14, the court consolidated this case with California v. Trump.

Key Documents