Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Urges NACO and CSAC to Oppose the Presidential Memorandum Excluding Non-Citizens from Census Allotment

As local government agencies assess the magnitude of the detriment that could be caused by the recent Presidential Memorandum by the Trump administration, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas urges the National Association of Counties (NACO) and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) to take action.

“While this memorandum from the Executive Branch is not surprising, it’s nevertheless a reckless attack on immigrant communities throughout the country, in particular, Los Angeles County, and on this nation’s democratic system. The action seeks to circumvent the unequivocal ruling of the highest court in the nation, said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “I cannot sit idle in this attempt to undercount communities of color that are already disproportionately underserved. Racism and xenophobia are at the heart of this memorandum and it must not be allowed to stand.”

In his recent letters, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas urged both organizations to take action to oppose the Presidential Memorandum excluding non-citizens from the apportionment base following 2020 United States Census.

“The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs champions the County’s commitment to provide support services to all its residents,” said Joseph M. Nicchitta, Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. “Every person must be counted in the 2020 Census for the County to receive its fair share of federal funds to provide its residents with much-needed services like health care, education, and good roads.”

On July 21, 2020 the Trump Administration issued a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Commerce titled “Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens from the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census.” It is the latest in anti-immigrant action by the Executive Branch.

Earlier this year, the Trump Administration attempted to insert a citizenship question in the United States (U.S.) Census (Census). This effort was defeated when, Attorney General Becerra and his coalition, which included Los Angeles County, secured a victory in their lawsuit to oppose the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The district court ruled that the citizenship question was unconstitutional and unlawful. On June 28, 2019 the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion deciding the legal challenge brought by many states on this issue.

As a result, on August 1, 2019, the district court entered final judgment permanently enjoining the Secretary of Commerce from including a citizenship question on the 2020 Census questionnaire and from asking a citizenship question as part of the 2020 Census.

“Getting counted in the 2020 Census is easy, quick and safe,” said L.A. County Office of Immigrant Affairs Executive Director Rigo Reyes. “It is our right to be counted, no matter what our immigration status is, and we can do it by mail, online and phone in most languages – send your form today!”