Policy Center

Statement Opposing Presidential Memorandum on Representation of Undocumented Immigrants in Census 

07-29-2020 12:41

As the presidents of the Population Association of America and the Association of Population Centers, we strongly oppose President Trump’s recent Presidential Memorandum that would exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment count. The memorandum is not only an attempt to discourage undocumented immigrants from participating in the 2020 Census, but also an unconstitutional assault on the decennial census.

The Constitution mandates that every person living in the United States should be counted in the decennial census, regardless of citizenship status. Legal rulings have consistently affirmed this principle. With the Census Bureau about to launch a national operation to encourage participation in the 2020 Census among non-responsive households, every effort should be made to encourage an inclusive, valid count. The President’s memorandum undermines the objectives of this critical phase of the 2020 Census and seeks to upend careful plans career Census Bureau professionals have developed and adapted in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The population scientists (i.e. demographers, economists, sociologists, and statisticians, in the private, public, and academic sectors) that our organizations represent rely on public data to conduct their scientific research and research training activities. Census data are the seminal source of data informing the breadth of these population research activities. Thus, our members are heavily vested in the outcome of the 2020 Census. We urge the Administration to withdraw the memorandum and work with census stakeholders, including population scientists, to ensure a successful 2020 Census that promotes widespread participation and delivers an accurate enumeration of our nation’s population.

Dr. Eileen M. Crimmins, PAA President 
Dr. Kathleen A. Cagney,  APC President


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July 27, 2020

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