A strong statement was issued by Mayor Jim Kenney’s office, co-authored with Philly Counts 2020 Executive Director Stephanie Reid in response to President Donald Trump’s signed memo ordering the Census to exclude undocumented immigrants from the count. The position of the relevant authorities in Philadelphia states the following:
“Once again, President Trump is trying to divide the country for his own political benefit, this time by excluding immigrants from the 2020 Census count. He is ignoring the foundation of our democracy and challenging our Constitution, which in Section 2 of the 14th Amendment clearly states: representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state. The term inhabitants, as is used in Trump’s memo, is not in the Constitution. There are no exceptions regarding immigration status: the census counts every person living in the United States of America.
“This action is unconstitutional and appears targeted to suppress census participation and create fear and confusion among undocumented immigrant communities. If this proceeds, it would have severe consequences for the future of Philadelphia, decreasing political representation in the federal government and a loss of significant federal funding tied to census data.
“This new barrier for the 2020 Census will be challenged in court. Immigration and diversity are part of our strengths as a country. Philadelphia will continue welcoming, celebrating, and fighting for the rights of our undocumented immigrants and their families. Rest assured, we will not allow the Trump administration to erase you. We encourage every Philadelphian to participate in the 2020 Census.”
Trump excluded undocumented immigrants
U.S. President Donald Trump signed a memo Tuesday to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census, which determines the quotas for representation in Congress.
“I have accordingly determined that respect for the law and protection of the integrity of the democratic process warrant the exclusion of illegal aliens from the apportionment base,” the President said in a letter sent to the Secretary of Commerce, who is in charge of the census conducted this year in the United States.
“Including these illegal aliens in the population of the State for the purpose of apportionment could result in the allocation of two or three more congressional seats than would otherwise be allocated,” said Trump.
In a statement, the president defended that this action “reflects a better understanding of the Constitution and is consistent with the principles of our representative democracy.”
Traslated by: José Espinoza