Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Slams Trump’s Order to Ban Undocumented Immigrants from Being Counted in 2020 Census

For Release: 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020


Sarah Hager Mosby

WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the Trump administration’s memo that aims to bar undocumented immigrants living in the United States from being included in the census, which is used to apportion congressional representation:

“As a former civics teacher, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind President Trump that the Constitution is clear when it requires an ‘actual Enumeration’ of the ‘whole Number of free Persons’ for the population count and congressional apportionment. That means count everyone, not just the people who agree with you politically. Once again, this administration has shown that even amid a public health, economic and racial justice crisis in America, it will still stop at nothing to weaponize the most fundamental and basic tenets of our democracy. Shame on them.

“Just when we thought we’d seen it all, this president wants to go on record and declare that undocumented immigrants in this country are not, in fact, people. This grotesque and inhumane abuse of power flies in the face of the very goal of the census: to distribute government resources equitably—including funding for schools, infrastructure, transportation and healthcare—and to ensure fair and just representation in Congress.

“The Constitution means what it says. The Supreme Court already blocked the president’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census survey; this attempt to exclude undocumented people by executive order is just one more effort by Trump to fly above the law and steal power from everyday people. It won’t stand.”


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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.