On Thursday night, the Arlington County Board voted 5-0 to authorize the County Attorney to join the County as a party in legal actions filed against the United States President and others challenging the lawfulness of the President’s July 21, 2020 “Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens from the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census.”
The President’s Proposal is Unconstitutional
In Section 2 of the Executive Memo, the President specifically calls “to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status.” The United States Constitution says the census counts everyone living in the United States — every immigrant, every child, every neighbor, every student, everyone. This action by the President attempts to circumvent a recent decision of the United States Supreme Court and is unconstitutional.
“The Constitution requires an accurate count of our population every 10 years. The information from the Census is a crucial record that helps determine the Federal resources we receive over the next decade and is used for planning and research,” stated County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “We must have an accurate count of everyone living in Arlington and refuse to allow this unlawful effort to scare people and suppress the Census count of our immigrant community. Whether documented or undocumented, our immigrant residents are valued members of our community. We are determined that they will be accurately counted.”
Other Damaging Actions
The President is also trying to shorten the Census time frame and end the response collection period before Halloween – even when the U.S. Census Bureau has said it needs through December to ensure a complete and accurate count. In short – the administration is trying to undermine the accuracy and integrity of the 2020 Census and create fear of participation among undocumented immigrants.
Arlington County Residents Benefit from Taking the Census
Arlington receives approximately $50 million in funding based on census data to support transportation, housing, emergency services, free and reduced lunch programs, and more. To date, 71 percent of Arlington residents have responded to the 2020 Census, but we are still working to increase this number before enumerators start reaching out to households who haven’t been counted.
Taking the Census takes only a few minutes. Here’s how:
- Online: Go to my2020census.gov. Non-English speakers can select a different language at the bottom of the page.
- Phone: Call 844-330-2020 for English, 844-468-2020 for Spanish, or use these phone numbers to take the Census in 12 other languages.
- Mail: If you received a paper copy by mail, just fill it out, place it in the envelope provided and drop it in a mailbox.