LOS ANGELES –  The American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates yesterday approved a resolution urging federal agencies to “follow laws and adopt policies to ensure that all persons in each state, regardless of immigration status, are included in the apportionment count used to redistribute seats in the United States House of Representatives following each decennial census.”  The resolution was presented to the House of Delegates by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz, who is a member of the ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice.

The adoption of Resolution 611 by the oldest and largest organization of lawyers in the United States follows a directive from Donald Trump in July 2020 seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from the reapportionment count.  Trump’s memorandum never took effect because the Biden Administration rescinded the directive.  The resolution report also cites the recent legal challenge brought by the State of Alabama and Rep. Mo Brooks that sought to exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census data used for reapportionment.

In 2018, MALDEF intervened in that case on behalf of Latino voters who cited concerns that the federal government would not provide a robust defense of the constitutional requirement that calls for a complete count of all residents of the states.

MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz issued the following statement in response to Resolution 611:

“With its approval of this resolution, the ABA can play an important future role in defending the Constitution’s requirement that all persons in each state are to be counted in reallocating seats in the United States House of Representatives.  Continued attempts to undermine our rule of law by seeking to characterize some immigrants as not ‘persons’ are and ought to be repugnant to the legal profession, and it is important that the ABA be able to participate in opposing these efforts, whether emanating from executive action or state challenge.  It is gratifying to have the ABA as a critical ally in deterring this particular assault on the U.S. Constitution.”

Read the resolution HERE.