Mayor Durkan and Council President González Condemn President Trump’s Proposal to Exclude Undocumented People from Census Apportionment

Seattle (July 21, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and Council President M. Lorena González condemned President Trump’s proposal to exclude undocumented people from the 2020 Census apportionment. The apportionment base is the official count of every person residing in the United States, and it determines the division of Congressional seats among states. The President’s proposal is unprecedented – all United States residents regardless of immigration status have been included in the apportionment since passage of the Apportionment Act of 1792. The President’s proposal does not mean undocumented people are barred from filling out the Census.

“This is yet another transparent and vile attempt by the President to villainize undocumented immigrants for his own political aims. Undocumented individuals have been counted in the United States Census since it was first conducted hundreds of years ago. His attempt to change that reality is pure political theater, violates the constitution, and offends the very principles on which the Census began,” said Mayor Durkan. “I don’t doubt that this proposal will have a chilling effect on our immigrant and refugee communities who have already been pushed into the shadows by the President. Seattle is and will always be a Welcoming City. No matter what the President says, we know our immigrant and refugee neighbors make our city better, and they must be counted.”

“When we say “everyone counts” in the Census, we have the backing of the U.S. Constitution. Every person in Seattle, regardless of their immigration status, counts and deserves to be represented. Trump is once again weaponizing the Census, despite the fact that his previous attempt to add a citizenship question to the Census was ruled as unconstitutional. These are baseless and immoral attacks masquerading as good policy choices. Americans are tired of a President who cherry-picks only the parts our Constitution he wishes to uphold,” said Council President M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide).

The Census Bureau is in the process of launching in-person visits from Census enumerators. These Census Bureau staff will visit households that have not yet completed their Census forms; they are not affiliated with law enforcement and will not inquire about immigration status. Interviews with a Census enumerator are completely confidential. To avoid the likelihood of a visit from an enumerator, residents who have not yet filled out the Census can do so immediately at https://2020census.gov/en.html.

As of July 7, 2020, 71.2 percent of Seattle residents have completed their Census form, as compared to the national response rate of 61.9 percent.

The City of Seattle’s fight for a fair, safe, and complete Census count is part of our work as a Welcoming City. For more information on our Welcoming City policies, please visit this website: www.seattle.gov/welcoming