Leaders Hail U.S. Supreme Court's Repudiation of Trump's Bid to add Citizen Question in Census 2020

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Egg on his face. Trump is repudiated by SCOTUS in Census ploy. Photo: Gage Skidmore  

Elected representatives and activist have praised the move by the U.S. Supreme Court to block the Trump administration's attempt to add a citizen question to the 2020 Census and the president has asked his advisors if the count can be delayed. Opponents of Trump's bid to include a citizenship question feared it would have resulted in gross undercounts. 

"The Supreme Court's decision to block the Trump Administration's inclusion of a citizenship question on the U.S. Census is an important win for our country and our state, which has always been a beacon of hope and acceptance for immigrants," said New York Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo. "This decision will help ensure each and every New Yorker will be counted and provided with the critical services they need and deserve, regardless of their immigration status. Shame on the Trump Administration for its attempt to make the U.S. Census a political pawn in their continued anti-immigrant agenda. No matter what hateful policies are imposed by this Administration in Washington, we will always stand up and ensure every New Yorker is counted."

“Every single person in this country deserves to be counted, plain and simple. We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision today. This one question could have caused a substantial undercount, particularly of noncitizens and Latinos. Thanks to the Court, the census will remain a tool for delivering on our government’s promise of fairness and equity, and states, like New York, will not be shortchanged out of critical resources or political representation," said New York Attorney General Letitia James. "Our democracy withstood this challenge, but make no mistake, many threats continue to lie ahead from the Trump Administration and we will not stop fighting. Now, more than ever, the marginalized, the disenfranchised, and everyday people need us to stand firm in our fight for justice. After all, everyone counts, and therefore, everyone must be counted. I am grateful to the talented professionals in the New York State Attorney General’s Office who worked tirelessly on this case, especially New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood. I also want to thank our many government and public interest partners for their support and collaboration.”

“We welcome today’s ruling to remand to the Commerce Department the Trump administration’s fraudulent efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census," said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. "Through various means, the Trump administration is deliberately seeking to undercount communities of color in the 2020 Census, a ploy designed to increase the political power of whites at the expense of already underrepresented communities. Weakening the political representation of communities of color has been a stain on our democracy since its founding. The Three-Fifths Compromise of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 counted enslaved black people as three-fifths of a person in apportioning congressional districts. Since that time, the Census has severely undercounted the communities of color."

Johnson added: "The Court today rejected the Trump administration’s fraudulent justification for adding the citizenship question. The highest court in the land – in an opinion authored by a Chief Justice appointed by a Republican President – has effectively ruled that the head of one federal government agency, the Department of Commerce, lied to the nation, aided and abetted by the head of another federal agency, the Department of Justice. We agree wholeheartedly with the Court’s conclusion that the decision to add the citizenship question was not made for the reasons put forth by Secretary Ross. Rather, it was a bald-faced effort to benefit one race and one political party at the expense of some of our nation’s most vulnerable communities. This astounding truth can no longer be swept under the rug. It is there for all to see. Now, justice must be done. And everyone must be counted. The strength of our democracy depends on it.”

“This is a victory for those of us who support a fair and accurate 2020 Census. The US Supreme Court held that the Commerce Department’s justifications for adding the citizenship question were insufficient and inaccurate," said U.S. Rep. Jose E. Serrano. The so-called "'Protection of minority voting rights' is not a convincing argument for the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 Census. In fact, the minority rights argument was a pretext to justify the Trump Administration’s true reason for the question’s inclusion on the form: to give Republicans and non-Hispanic Whites an electoral advantage in the redistricting process and weaken minority communities representation, as stated in documents found among the belongings of Republican redistricting strategist Thomas Hofeller after his death."

He added, “The Census Bureau has repeatedly said that they need certainty on the whether to include the citizenship question by the end of this month.  This decision gives them an answer.  Because of the lengthy time necessary to put together a legal and legitimate record in support of including the citizenship question, time has run out for the Commerce Department.  I expect the Census Bureau to confirm that printing will begin next week on a 2020 Census form that does not include a citizenship question.  In addition to today’s Supreme Court decision, the House of Representatives this week passed my legislation, the CJS fiscal year 2020 Appropriations bill, which contains language preventing funds from being used to include the citizenship question in the Census form.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision to send the citizenship question back to the lower court is a key victory in our fight, but the battle is not over. Cities across the country have stood together and made clear: if you live in the United States, regardless of immigration status, you are seen, you are heard and you must be counted," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "We must continue to resoundingly reject the politics of division and hate and fight for the fair representation this nation was built on. The President’s hateful administration won’t silence our voice. We must all stand up and be counted.”

The Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., said: “The Supreme Court has thankfully rejected President Trump’s odious attempt to weaponize the 2020 Census against immigrant communities and communities of color. This is a welcome ruling, but we must still ensure that everyone is counted next year. The Census should be inclusive so that all our communities are counted and heard. Since becoming president, President Trump has done nothing but find ways to divide this country, literally building walls between the realities of the contributions that immigrants have made. The Census should not be used as a list to deport and divide families or as a political tool to hijack our democracy. The proposed changes on the 2020 Census were an insidious way for the federal government to deprive Hispanic communities of a voice in government. Thanks to this ruling, our system of checks-and-balance came through to protect all of our communities.”

New York City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez said, ""Today is a day of celebration for all our brothers and sisters that were fearful of the 2020 Census citizenship question. The citizenship question was an effort led by President Trump and his supporters to intimidate immigrants and further disenfranchise them. Our immigrants contribute billions of dollars into our economy. We must ensure that they feel protected and safe in our country. This is only the beginning of a process that started with the Supreme Court; I will continue to work with Speaker Corey Johnson, the Co-Chair of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus, Daneek Miller, and my colleagues at the New York City Council to ensure that all New Yorkers are counted, at the same time that they are treated with the respect they deserve." 







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