Attorney General James Continues Fight to Ensure Undocumented Immigrants Are Included in Congressional Apportionment

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today issued the following statement after filing a motion for partial summary judgment or, in the alternative, a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit to halt President Donald Trump’s efforts to illegally leave millions of undocumented immigrants out of the congressional apportionment base following the conclusion of the 2020 Decennial Census:

“As President Trump double-downs on anti-immigrant policies that he’s championed since his first campaign, our immigrant communities continue to pay the price,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “Despite the constant fearmongering and xenophobia we’ve seen from the White House, one thing still remains true: Everyone counts, therefore everyone must be counted, regardless of immigration status. We will not hesitate to take every legal action available to ensure all communities are properly represented in Congress, and get the federal funding they need and deserve.”

Last month, Attorney General James led a coalition of states, cities, and counties in filing a lawsuit against President Donald Trump for continuing attempts to illegally leave millions out of the apportionment base that establishes the number of members in the House of Representatives that each state receives. The lawsuit seeks to stop the Trump Administration from politicizing the census and violating basic constitutional and statutory commands, and instead aims to ensure the administration counts the “whole number of persons” residing in the country for apportionment, as the U.S. Constitution unambiguously requires.

The Fourteenth Amendment clearly states that “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State...” The framers of the Fourteenth Amendment deliberately chose the phrase “whole number of persons” to refer to all persons living in each state — including the entire immigrant population. More than 150 years of history, practice, and judicial and administrative precedents have since further confirmed that the apportionment of representatives must be based on all persons living in each state, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.

Joining Attorney General James in filing today’s motion are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. The attorneys general are joined by the cities of Central Falls, RI; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Providence, RI; Seattle, WA; and the city and county of San Francisco. Additionally, Cameron, El Paso, and Hidalgo Counties in Texas; Howard County in Maryland; and Monterey County in California joined the lawsuit; as did the U.S. Conference of Mayors.