Immigration Groups Challenge Trump's Executive Order On Citizenship Data

Posted: Sep 14, 2019 1:25 PM
Immigration Groups Challenge Trump's Executive Order On Citizenship Data

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Immigration groups La Union Del Pueblo Entero and Promise Arizona on Friday filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of Maryland challenging President Donald Trump's executive order that allowed the government to gather citizenship data on every person in the United States. 

According to the groups, the data could be used unfairly when legislators redraw congressional districts following the 2020 census. Their primary argument is minorities and illegal aliens would be disproportionally impacted by racial animus and voting districts would be "advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites," NPR reported.

“Voters will be denied their constitutionally guaranteed rights to equitable political representation based on actual population,” the complaint said.

From NPR:

They argue that the Trump administration's efforts are part of a conspiracy intended to prevent Latinx communities, noncitizens and other immigrants from receiving fair representation when state and local voting lines are redrawn after the 2020 census.

The challengers also allege that the administration is violating the Administrative Procedure Act in trying to carry out Trump's executive order. Thomas Saenz, MALDEF's president and general counsel, describes the efforts as a way of saving face for the president after the Supreme Court ruled to keep the citizenship question off the 2020 census forms.

"We know that effectively no process was followed," Saenz tells NPR. "It was an announcement made in reaction to the president having to abandon his effort to include a citizenship question."

Trump's executive order would force federal agencies to share citizenship date with the Department of Commerce. They would then share that data with individual states, the Washington Times reported.