An immigration attorney says he is not surprised a federal court ruled against President Donald Trump in a U.S. Census case but predicts it will spark a needed conversation about counting illegals.
Three federal judges in New York state have ruled the President exceeded his executive authority by trying to exclude illegal aliens from being counted when congressional districts are redrawn. In granting an injunction, the judges ruled the presidential order issued in late July was unlawful.
That ruling, announced Sept. 10, prohibits Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the U.S. Census Bureau from excluding people in the country illegally when handing in 2020 census figures that are used to calculate how many congressional seats each state gets.
Art Arthur, a resident fellow in law and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, tells OneNewsNow no one should be surprised at the ruling after the nation's highest court blocked a citizenship question last year.
“The Supreme Court has ruled earlier that the Census Bureau could not include a question about alienage on the Census Bureau questionnaire,” he tells OneNewsNow.
The number of illegal aliens living in the U.S. is unknown for obvious reasons. Immigration watchdog FAIR estimated that number at 14.3 million in 2019. A second assessment, by the Brookings Institute, cites other sources to estimate the population at 10.5 million to 12 million, which averages about 3.5 percent of the U.S. population.
California is a famous hotbed for illegal immigration. That estimate ranges from 2 million to 3 million in a state with a population of 40 million and a whopping 53 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, the highest in the country.
Arthur says the Trump administration lawsuit has resulted in numerous counter-lawsuits challenging the President’s order but he adds the legal fight has created a much-needed conversation about how to move forward.
“So it's a loss for the administration,” he observes, “but I think it's important that the President wanted to start the conversation, and he has."