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 		 ["Todays ruling is a strong signal to the Trump administration
that any attempts to politicize and corrupt the 2020 census will
fail."] [https://portside.org/] 

 IN REBUKE OF TRUMP'S EFFORT TO 'WEAPONIZE' 2020 CENSUS AGAINST
IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES, FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKES DOWN CITIZENSHIP QUESTION
 
[https://portside.org/2019-01-15/rebuke-trumps-effort-weaponize-2020-census-against-immigrant-communities-federal-judge]


 

 Julia Conley 
 January 15, 2019
Common Dreams
[https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/15/rebuke-trumps-effort-weaponize-2020-census-against-immigrant-communities-federal]


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 _ "Today's ruling is a strong signal to the Trump administration that
any attempts to politicize and corrupt the 2020 census will fail." _ 

 Common Cause called the Trump administration's goal of including a
citizenship status question on the 2020 U.S. census "an attempt to
racially rig the census" last year., Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images


 

Civil liberties and immigration rights advocates are applauding a
ruling decision by a federal judge New York on Tuesday after the court
struck down the Trump administration's attempt to insert a citizenship
question in to the 2020 Census.

Ruling on a lawsuit filed by the New York Immigration Coalition
(NYIC), the ACLU, and other groups, U.S. District Judge Jess Furman
said that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census,
acted illegally when he requested that the question be added.

Ross had previously claimed that the Justice Department (DOJ) had
originally requested the question, which was to read, "Is this person
a citizen of the United States?" But the lawsuit filed by the groups
revealed that Ross had actually consulted with former White House
strategist—and open white supremacist
[https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/03/16/bannon-racist-badge-honor/417286002/]—Steve
Bannon. Ross's addition of the question violated the Administrative
Procedures Act, the judge ruled.

"Today's decision is a victory for all New Yorkers and immigrants
across the country, as Judge Furman rebuked the Trump administration's
naked attempt to circumvent the law for its own gain," said
[https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2019/01/15/immigrant-plaintiffs-claim-victory-census-question]
NYIC executive director Steven Choi. "The Administrative Act cannot be
used to rig the Census as part of a white supremacist agenda led by
Kris Kobach and Steve Bannon."

Ross has claimed that the addition of the citizenship question—which
has not been included on the U.S. Census since 1950—was necessary to
make sure the government could better enforce the Voting Rights Act to
ensure that minorities are not discriminated against.
In his ruling, however, Furman determined the claim simply didn't
stand up.

"The evidence establishes that Secretary Ross's stated rationale, to
promote VRA enforcement, was pretextual—in other words, that he
announced his decision in a manner that concealed its true basis
rather than explaining it," wrote Furman.

Critics argue that far from ensuring enforcement of the Voting Rights
Act, a citizenship question would cause many in immigrant communities
to go into hiding and refuse to answer the Census next year, resulting
in an undercount. An inaccurate Census
[https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/27/us/politics/census-citizenship-question.html]can
keep billions of dollars in federal funds from reaching communities,
and threaten political representation as new determinations are made
about how many representatives states should have in Congress and
state legislatures.
"If included, a citizenship question will stoke unnecessary fear in
immigrant communities and could result in a significant undercount,
particularly already under-counted racial and ethnic minority groups,"
said the NYIC. "With immigrants constituting nearly one out of four
New Yorkers, an undercount in the 2020 Census will have catastrophic
consequences—costing all New Yorkers political power and billions of
dollars in federal funding for key services."

Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn expressed relief at Furman's
ruling, as well as dismay at the Trump administration's blatant
attempt to rig the 2020 Census.

"Most shocking and disappointing is that all indications are that the
question was added specifically to drive down participation by
noncitizens for purely partisan political purposes," said
[https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2019/01/15/census-ruling-victory-equal-representation]Hobert
Flynn. "The court recognized and called out this effort to rig the
census for political advantage as an affront to the Constitution."

Furman's ruling is expected to be appealed and eventually end up
before the U.S. Supreme Court. The nation's highest court is also
scheduled to hear oral arguments next month regarding whether Ross can
be questioned under oath about his decision to include the citizenship
question.

Despite the likely appeal, Thomas Wolf of the Brennan Center for
Justice expressed optimism
[http://www.brennancenter.org/press-release/new-york-federal-judge-blocks-citizenship-question]regarding
the ruling—with several other lawsuits over the citizenship pending
in states across the country.

"Today's ruling is a strong signal to the Trump administration that
any attempts to politicize and corrupt the 2020 census will fail,"
said Wolf. "Hard data and commonsense show that the citizenship
question would intimidate vulnerable communities and massively
suppress participation in the 2020 Census, with damaging effects that
would undermine our democracy for a decade or more."

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike
3.0 License 

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