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Judge Cites Trump’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Remark In Ruling On Census Lawsuit

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U.S. District Judge George Hazel said in a ruling in Maryland on Friday that plaintiffs had properly supported their claim that a Trump administration decision to add a citizenship question to the census for the first time in 70 years was motivated at least in part by discrimination.


In reaching his decision he cited Trump’s widely reported comment in January at a private meeting with lawmakers “distinguishing immigrants of color— ‘these people from shithole countries’—from white immigrants from countries like Norway,” the judge wrote.


Hazel also noted Trump’s “degrading comparisons of immigrants to ‘animals’ who ‘infest’ the country.”


While “these statements were not made specifically in relation to the citizenship question, they are nonetheless relevant to understanding the administration’s motivations,” the judge wrote. “And while the use of racial slurs, epithets, or other derogatory language does not alone prove discriminatory intent, it is evidence that official action may be motivated by such an unlawful purpose.”


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