A federal court in Manhattan on Thursday denied the Trump administration the possibility of not counting undocumented migrants in the current census in the United States, a setback for the president who had made the subject one of the symbols of his fight against illegal immigration.
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Carried out every 10 years, the census counts all of the people present in the United States, including those in an irregular situation.
The survey makes it possible to determine the representation of the various states in the American Congress but also to calibrate the allocation of several hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding according to the population of each state.
At the end of July, prosecutors in many states, including New York, had taken legal action to challenge the Trump administration’s right not to count undocumented migrants.
Many also feared that this measure would reduce the participation in the census of people in an irregular situation, already fragile because many of them fear, wrongly, of exposing themselves to deportation by responding.
In their ruling on Thursday, the three federal judges called to rule ruled that the Trump administration’s measure was illegal.
It constitutes a “violation” of the delegation that Congress grants the president to “count all the people of every state,” they wrote in their judgment, on file.
“We cannot allow the White House to instigate fear and xenophobia to prevent us from being counted,” New York State Attorney Letitia James said Thursday, hailing a “new major success “.
When announcing his measure, rebutted Thursday, Donald Trump said he refused to “give parliamentary representation to foreigners who enter or remain in this country illegally, because that would create perverse incentives and undermine our system of government.”
The Supreme Court ruled illegal last year the government’s decision to ask for the nationality of census participants, a question that had not been asked for more than 60 years.