LOS ANGELES, CA – Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) issued the following statement in response to Donald Trump’s memorandum to the Secretary of Commerce that seeks to alter the required count of every person for the purpose of reapportionment by excluding some immigrants.

“Today’s memorandum from Donald Trump to Lyin’ Wilbur Ross epitomizes the lawlessness of this administration.  As the Supreme Court has long held, persons are persons under our Constitution, regardless of immigration status.  This memorandum will be swiftly struck down by the federal courts.  Anticipating just this lawlessness, MALDEF filed a cross-claim last year against the federal government in the pending Alabama federal court litigation; the cross-claim seeks to prevent the federal government from pursuing the unconstitutional removal of certain immigrants from the apportionment count.  In that venue, and likely in others, Donald Trump will yet again be schooled in the law.  Today’s memorandum will end up in the dustbin of history as yet another exemplar of Donald Trump’s disturbing embrace of white nationalism.  It will stand as another shameful monument to his attempts to sow division in our nation’s populace.  It will earn recognition as another unmasking of Trump’s perverse and damaging ‘leadership.’

“MALDEF will be in court to stop this latest example of blatantly unconstitutional executive action by a failed presidency.”

Read MALDEF's cross-complaint in Alabama HERE.