Supreme Court may give President Trump time to test census policy against undocumented immigrants
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court likely on Monday let the Trump administration proceed with its plan to exclude some undocumented immigrants from the census used to split the seats in Congress before deciding whether to do so was legal.
With only seven weeks left in President Donald Trump's tenure, most judges said he may not have the right to exclude up to 11 million people from the population base, a policy that would cost California and possibly other states seats in the House of Representatives .
However, several conservative judges on the court noted that the Census Bureau's efforts to identify undocumented immigrants may not be in line with the president's goal. If only small groups of them are tabulated, the legal challenge from states and immigrant rights groups could turn out to be "a lot of ado about very little," said Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
"It's speculative how much they can do," said Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, referring to the Census Bureau's efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants. "Then it is speculative whether this will affect the division." ”
Some of the court's liberal judges said that Trump's announced policies could result in the disfellowshipping of at least several million people, including those in deportation, and particularly the 650,000 young immigrants enlisted under the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) are protected.
"We can very easily reach 4 or 5 million people who have extensive administrative records about," said Associate Justice Elena Kagan.
And even Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's youngest candidate in court, noted that "illegal aliens were never expelled" to be counted for division in Congress.
Immigration activists rallied outside the Supreme Court last year when judges heard arguments about the Trump administration's plan to ask for citizenship in the 2020 census.
Trump's policy announced in July could affect not only seats in the House of Representatives, but also their votes as well as the distribution of roughly $ 1.5 trillion in federal funds.
If the judges give him a Lame Duck victory - or if they just overturn a federal district court against him - it could lead to the loss of house seats in traditionally democratic states. Under the plan, states with the highest percentage of undocumented immigrants are at the greatest risk. Most of these states, from Nevada to New Jersey, are democratic.
But President-elect Joe Biden is likely to seek to reverse any plan to remove undocumented immigrants from the workforce. This could lead to lawsuits from supporters of the plan after Trump stepped down from office.
"The Biden government has not adopted this rhetoric against immigrants and is instead trying to heal this nation," New York attorney general Letitia James said after the hearing on Monday. "I would hope and I am confident that she will include everyone in the count." Forward."
The president-elect released a statement on the case Tuesday, warning that if the Supreme Court joins Trump, "the partisan policies of intimidation and xenophobia will deliberately exclude certain groups of people from the census.
A coalition of 22 states and 15 cities, led by New York, filed a lawsuit after Trump issued his July memorandum, and a federal district court ruled in September that the plan was unlawful. The three-judge panel said it was designed to deter immigrant households from responding to the census. Two federal courts in California and Maryland have made similar judgments.
The judges agreed to hear and decide the case quickly as time is running out for the 2020 census. Trade Secretary Wilbur Ross' report to the President is due on December 31st. Trump has approximately 10 days after that to report to Congress on the number of seats allocated to each state in the House of Representatives.
Before: Trump's war on illegal immigration takes on a political undertone at the Supreme Court
In a broader sense, the case brings one final exclamation mark to the more than 400 policy changes made by the Trump administration that aim to downsize both legal and illegal immigration channels into the US. When challenged, she has asked the Supreme Court for support for her agenda, including efforts to curb refugees and migrants in need of public support.
Trump has had limited success defending his immigration policy in the Supreme Court since 2017. It took three versions for the judges to uphold his travel ban on a handful of predominantly Muslim nations. Other restrictions aimed at blocking asylum seekers and erecting a wall along the southern border have been temporarily lifted.
Trump's efforts to end the Obama administration's program to protect young immigrants from deportation and to add a citizenship issue to the 2020 census have been crushed in 5-4 judgments written by Chief Justice John Roberts.
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Donald Trump's Anti-Immigration Plan Against Immigrants Could Get Redress in Court
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