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Montgomery County Executive Elrich Responds to President Trump’s Memorandum that Attempts to Ban Undocumented Immigrants in the U.S. From the Census Count

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 24, 2020

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has rejected President Donald Trump’s memorandum that intends to prevent undocumented immigrants in the United States from being counted in the 2020 Census for the purpose of determining U.S. House seats, calling it an “unconscionable and divisive move that will surely, and must, be challenged in the courts.”

County Executive Elrich went on to say why the President’s position is wrong.

“This is yet another attack by Trump to fire up his ever-shrinking base as he continues his attacks on immigrants and people of color,” said County Executive Elrich.  “I will not, I cannot, remain silent, as the leader of the largest County in Maryland (more the 1.1 million residents), with a population that is one-third foreign-born.  The U.S. Constitution says Congressional districts should be based on the ‘whole number of persons in each state,’ which courts have interpreted to mean all people, regardless of immigration status.”

In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution requires the use of total population to allocate House seats among the states. Undocumented immigrants have previously been counted to determine representation in the House.

County Executive Elrich said he supported the American Civil Liberties Union’s pledge to challenge the policy in court and agreed with its statement that the President cannot select those he wants to count in the Census.

“Everyone in Montgomery County needs to know that they are supported 100 percent by their County Executive and are urged to complete their 2020 Census as soon as possible, regardless of their immigration status,” said County Executive Elrich. “Remember, there is no question on immigration status on the 2020 Census. The importance of an accurate Census count will be key in receiving the essential resources that provide for the best possible local schools, hospitals and public transportation. Even something as critical as the number of doses of vaccine that will be available to us factors into an accurate count. I think it is very clear to all of us that the President is attempting to suppress the response to the Census and to silence the voices of immigrant communities. Let’s respond to the 2020 Census to ensure we all are counted and send a message to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that his tactics will not succeed.”

County Executive Elrich went on to say: “I will do everything in my power, at the local level, to maintain the integrity of the U.S. Census. This crucial count will bring federal funds to our County and State for schools, hospitals, public safety, and our representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

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Put the “count” in Montgomery County! Be sure to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. It’s safe, confidential, easy, and important. #2020Census #EveryoneCountsMCMD

For the latest Reopening Montgomery updates, visit the County’s website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCountyMD.

Release ID: 20-401
Media Contact: Diane Vu, 240-777-0311