The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to take fast action in ruling on the constitutionality of President Trump’s order prohibiting illegal immigrants from being counted in the U.S. census.
President Trump signed the order earlier this year, but was promptly met with a legal challenge by various immigrant rights groups. The U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York ruled in early September that the order was illegal and likely unconstitutional.
The Trump administration has challenged the ruling and, in legal documents filed Tuesday, asked the Supreme Court to hand down its own ruling on the matter in December. That would allow the court to rule before the January 10, 2021 deadline to submit census data.
The 2020 census will determine the apportionment of House seats accorded to each state for the next ten years. Illegal immigrants cannot vote but would increase the population of particular districts, potentially expanding the number of House seats received by various states.
Opponents of Trump’s order have argued, however, that illegal immigrants use many of the same infrastructure services as American citizens, thus they should be included in the census to give an accurate picture of an area’s population.
The coronavirus pandemic has already complicated efforts to complete the 2020 census, leaving census workers unable to go door to door and complete forms in person.