Four Former Census Bureau Directors Testify the Trump Administration’s Attempt to Ban Undocumented Immigrants from 2020 Census is Unconstitutional

Jul 29, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (July 29, 2020)—At today’s emergency hearing on the Trump Administration’s latest attempt to ban undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census, four former Census Bureau Directors testified that the President’s July 21 legal memorandum is unconstitutional and violates federal law.


Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney asked the panel:


“In your opinion, and based on your knowledge and experience, does the President’s July 21st memo seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment base appear to violate existing federal law and historically enduring views of the Constitution?”


Former Census Directors Kenneth Prewitt (1998-2001), Vince Barabba (1973-1976 and 1979-1981), John Thompson (2013-2017), and Robert Groves (2009-2012) all testified, “Yes.” 


The four former Census Directors also testified that:


  • The Constitution requires the census to count every person living in the United States at the time of the census, including undocumented immigrants;


  • Federal law requires the President to send Congress an apportionment count based on the census count of the total population of the U.S., including undocumented immigrants; and


  • All previous censuses and apportionment counts in the history of the United States have included both citizens and noncitizens, including undocumented immigrants.


The witness requested by Republican Committee Members—academic Dr. John Eastman—disagreed.


The Committee will hear from the current Census Bureau Director, Dr. Steven Dillingham, during the second panel of today’s hearing.  


Click here to tune in to today’s hearing.

116th Congress