San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo announced Friday that he would be named a plaintiff and join a lawsuit with San Jose and other jurisdictions to prevent President Donald Trump from excluding undocumented residents from the 2020 Census.
Liccardo said by not counting individuals fully, the White House would be in clear violation of the 14th Amendment.
“In San Jose, and under the U.S. Constitution, everyone counts. It is astounding that 132 years after we wiped the abhorrent ‘three-fifths’ clause from Article I of our U.S. Constitution, and as our nation yearns for racial equity, we have a Presidential Administration seeking to return to the days prior to the passage of the 14th Amendment.”
On July 21, the president released a memorandum directing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which overlooks the Census Bureau, to discount undocumented residents and count certain immigrants when determining congressional seats.
The lawsuit alleges that the president’s memorandum violates the Equal Protection Clause’s prohibition of intentional discrimination against persons of color in the 14th Amendment, the Enumeration Clause of Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution and the Census Act.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by the city of San Jose, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, King County in Washington and Arlington County in Virginia. Other individual plaintiffs include Zerihoun Yilma and Lovette Kargbo-Thompson.
In Santa Clara County, nearly 10 percent of the population is undocumented, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center study.
“This blatantly racist decree from the president cannot go without a strong and fervent challenge from those who seek to sustain our nation’s Constitutional protections.”
The lawsuit can be viewed at https://lawyerscommittee.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2020-07-27-1-Complaint.pdf.