MADISON — Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes issued the following statement today on the Trump administration’s memorandum that calls for excluding undocumented immigrants when determining congressional representation following the 2020 Census.
“Not only is this move to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census racist and xenophobic, but it is also unconstitutional. The Constitution makes it clear that the purpose of the census is to count every person, not just those the Trump administration deems worthy of being counted.
“President Trump already tried to weaponize the 2020 Census against immigrant communities by adding a citizenship question, and the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down. Now he’s attempting to erase immigrant communities from the picture again and disrupt the 2020 Census half-way through the process.
“Citizenship documents do not define whether or not someone is worthy of respect, civil rights, and equal representation in our democracy, so they cannot define whether they are counted. As integral members of our communities and our state, immigrants should be afforded the dignity and justice they deserve. Wisconsin’s Complete Count Committee has been working hard to ensure our 2020 Census counts everybody—especially hard to count populations like children, communities of color, and undocumented people. We will continue this work in the face of this unlawful decision, and I look forward to seeing this action challenged in the courts.”