NEW YORK (AP) — A coalition of states, counties and cities and another of civil and immigrants’ rights groups sued United States (US) President Donald Trump on Friday over his executive order that would not include people in the US illegally in how congressional districts are redrawn.
In the lawsuits, filed in federal court in Manhattan, the memorandum Trump signed earlier this week was called discriminatory and unconstitutional.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is leading the coalition that includes another 21 states as well as more than a dozen other cities and counties, said in a statement that Trump’s memo was “the latest in a long list of anti-immigrant actions and statements he has made since the beginning of his first campaign. It’s another election-year tactic to fire up his base by dehumanising immigrants and using them as scapegoats for his failures as a leader.”
The other lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the New York Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Texas, and the Arnold and Porter law firm on behalf of plaintiffs including the New York Immigration Coalition, Make the Road New York, CASA, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, ADC Research Institute, and FIEL Houston.
When he signed the order, Trump said including those in the country illegally in the count “would create perverse incentives and undermine our system of government”.
An email was sent to the Department of Justice seeking comment. Critics said the Constitution requires every person to be counted.
Seats in the House of Representatives are re-apportioned every 10 years based on the number of people as determined by the Census. To not count some people for the purpose of apportionment would impact how the seats are drawn.
Previously, Trump had tried to have a question about citizenship added to the Census, which critics, including James, fought. The Supreme Court blocked it from being added.