Washington – The League of Women Voters CEO Virginia Kase issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s executive order to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted in congressional districts when district lines are redrawn next year:
“The League of Women Voters launched the People Powered Fair MapsTM program in 2019 to create fair political maps nationwide. We are working across the country to ensure a complete count in the 2020 census and prepare for a redistricting cycle in 2021 that is fully representative of all persons living in our country. Not counting all persons living in the US in the redistricting cycle would violate the integrity of the apportionment process and divert power away from people living in those communities into the hands of politicians.
“The President’s proposal to exclude immigrants in the 2021 redistricting cycle is unconstitutional and unconscionable. Every person living in the United States deserves representation under the law, regardless of where they were born. This is the latest attempt by the current administration to decrease participation in the census. Don’t fall for it.
“America has an ugly history of not counting all living persons as required by the census. This administration’s harmful memo is reminiscent of the three-fifths compromise, a racist practice of counting Black people as only three-fifths of a person to determine a state's electoral votes and congressional representation. Likewise, Native Americans weren’t fully included in the enumeration process until 1900. The constitution requires the census to include everyone living in the United States, regardless of citizenship status. That data is essential to provide services to all communities and not having an accurate count endangers the safety of all people living in the country.”
The League of Women Voters filed an amicus brief in the Department of Commerce v. New York Census case last summer where the Supreme Court ruled to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 census.