Media Contact

Imelda Mejia, ACLU of Texas, 346-299-6803,

September 10, 2020

NEW YORK — A federal court has blocked President Trump’s order seeking to keep undocumented immigrants from being counted in the U.S. census.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, New York Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Texas, ACLU of Southern California, and Arnold & Porter.

Plaintiffs are the New York Immigration Coalition, Make the Road New York, CASA, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, ADC Re-search Institute, FIEL Houston, and AHRI for Justice.

The groups were in court last week for arguments before a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in New York.

The lawsuit challenged “President Trump’s lawless attempt to exclude un-documented immigrants from the ‘persons’ who must be counted in the census for purposes of apportioning congressional seats to states.”

The lawsuit is New York Immigration Coalition v. Trump.

The following comments are from:

Edgar Saldivar, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Texas, an attorney on the case: “This is a victory for all Texans. Not only does this ruling help ensure that our state has appropriate representation in Congress and that our communities receive proper federal funding, it also reinforces the humanity of all persons who live in the U.S., regardless of status.”

Cesar Espinosa, executive director of FIEL: “We are elated to have collaborated up until this point with the ACLU and all parties involved in this lawsuit. We want to make sure that our community knows that they count and we will go to any means to make sure that their humanity is respected. We want to make sure that we do not go back in time when humans are counted as a fraction of a person. We hope that the Trump administra-tion desists in attacking our community for his own political gain. We must fight, we will fight in the courts and in our communities.”

Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, argued the case and had the following reaction to today's ruling: “This is a huge victory for voting rights and for immigrants' rights. President Trump has tried and failed yet again to weaponize the census against immigrant communities. The law is clear — every person counts in the census.”

A copy of the ruling is available here.