Long Beach Joins Lawsuit to Demand Count of Undocumented People for Representation

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the cities of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland, as well as the Los Angeles Unified School District — filed a lawsuit Tuesday, July 28 challenging the Trump Administration’s latest unlawful attack on a complete, accurate census count.

This action pushes back on the Trump Administration’s last-minute attempt to circumvent the Constitution and alter the census’ centuries-old process on apportionment, which determines Congressional representation. In the lawsuit, California asserts that the Trump Administration’s new memorandum on apportionment is patently unconstitutional.

Because an accurate count will determine California’s fair share of federal funding for crucial programs and services — money that comes back from the hundreds of billions of dollars that California sends in taxes to Washington every year — it’s essential that Californians not be discouraged from completing the census.

“You can’t be a law-and-order president if you keep breaking the law,” said Attorney General Becerra. “This latest attack on the census is just that — it’s unlawful. President Trump still believes he can sidestep the U.S. Constitution. A complete, accurate census count is critical to ensure we get the Congressional representation and resources we have a right to. For Californians who haven’t filled out the census, get to it. Make your voice heard.”

Last week, the Trump Administration published a memorandum aimed at excluding undocumented immigrants from being counted in the 2020 Census for the purposes of Congressional apportionment. Beyond the myriad legal flaws, the administration’s memorandum ignores that the framers of the U.S. Constitution required that each state’s representation in Congress reflect all persons regardless of their eligibility to vote, including children, women, and the “entire immigrant population not naturalized.”

For the purposes of apportionment, the U.S. Constitution requires an actual enumeration — a count of each person — of the country’s total population every 10 years, which U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross himself asserted in testimony before Congress in 2019. By attempting to circumvent these long-standing constitutional requirements, the Trump Administration is once again taking egregious steps to undermine the rule of law.

“The City of Long Beach is proud to join the litigation brought by State Attorney General Xavier Becerra to compel the federal government to conduct a complete and accurate 2020 Census,” said Long Beach City Attorney Charles Parkin. “Both the United States Constitution and historical precedent absolutely require that all individuals living in this country be counted, regardless of their immigration status. An accurate census count is critical for all cities, including the City of Long Beach. The numbers compiled in the census ultimately determine the city and state’s representation in Congress and the drawing of congressional districts within the state. Importantly, an accurate census count also determines the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding for programs that are vitally important to the City of Long Beach such as Community Development Block Grant Funds, Medicaid, supplemental nutrition assistance programs, and local mental health programs to name a few. The city looks forward to a successful completion of this litigation and the accurate census count that the City of Long Beach and all cities require and deserve.”

See related: Lower-income areas of Long Beach vastly undercounted in Census in comparison to more affluent areas

The results of the census determine state representation in Congress as well as the distribution of crucial federal funding. Billions of dollars that California receives annually to fund programs and services that support the health and well-being of our communities are at stake. It is vitally important that California get back its fair share. California cannot afford an undercount — it is critical for everyone to be counted, regardless of their immigration status.

Attorney General Becerra strongly urges all people residing in California to stand up and make their voices heard by being counted in the 2020 Census. The census form is easy to fill out and there are just nine simple questions that can be completed in minutes. Everyone counts and your information is secure.

You can fill out the census by:

• Completing the online form at my2020census.gov
• Calling 844-330-2020, with a list of additional in-language options here
• If you’ve received a paper form, you can simply mail it in.


Leave a Reply

FREE newsletter sign-up! Receive the latest news directly to your inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Success! You're on the list.