Immigration and Citizenship

RELEASE: Rep. Maloney Calls for Legislative Solution to Block Census Citizenship Question

WASHINGTON, DC  — Congresswoman Carolyn. B. Maloney (D-NY), co-chair of the House Census Caucus and author of the Census IDEA Act, today hosted a meeting for Members of Congress and Census advocates to discuss the impact following a federal judge’s ruling ordering the Trump Administration to remove a citizenship question from the 2020 Census as well as next steps congress can take to protect the ruling. The Congresswoman led an Amicus Brief of 126 current and former Member of Congress in support of the lawsuit against the citizenship question.

Joining Rep. Maloney at the briefing were; Representatives Jose Serrano (NY-15), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-4), and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13); representatives from the New York State Attorney General’s Office; Vanita Gupta, President & CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Arturo Vargas, CEO, NALEO Educational Fund; Angela Manso, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, NALEO Educational Fund; David Gans, Director of Human Rights, Civil Rights & Citizenship Program Constitutional Accountability Center; and Praveen Fernandes, Vice President for Public Engagement, Constitutional Accountability Center.

“Yesterday’s court decision blocking the citizenship question was a critical victory, but it is not the end of this fight,” said Rep. Maloney. “We know the Trump Administration will not easily abandon its political assault on the census. That is why today we announced a new Congressional effort to urge the Administration not to appeal this decision and to pass legislation I intend to introduce to prevent this question from ever getting on the 2020 Census. We need to lift this cloud of the citizenship question and go full steam ahead on the 2020 Census if we’re going to have any chance of making sure the next Census is successful.”

“Thank you to the House Census Caucus for your loud opposition to the Trump administration’s politically motivated addition of the citizenship question,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “The 2020 Census is one of the most urgent civil rights issues facing the country — and right now, Congress has the opportunity and responsibility to help ensure the count is fair and accurate for all communities. The court’s decision to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census confirms that widespread concern about the administration’s motives was not misplaced. Congress has a constitutionally outlined responsibility to ensure that the Census is fair and accurate.”

“Given the importance of Census 2020 in distributing billions of dollars in federal funding and the allocation of political power to communities across the country for the next 10 years, we cannot afford to have millions of Latinos and other Americans missed in the nation’s decennial count,” stated Arturo Vargas, CEO of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. “While Judge Furman’s ruling this week marked an important legal victory for advocates, we know this issue is far from settled in the courts.  The clock is ticking.  It is time for Congress to take swift action and provide the U.S. Census Bureau with the clarity it needs to execute the 2020 Census by removing the citizenship question once and for all.”

“Judge Furman’s ruling holding the citizenship question unlawful and removing it from the 2020 Census is a huge victory for democracy and the rule of law,” said David Gans, Director of the Human Rights, Civil Rights, and Citizenship Program at the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC). “It ensures the integrity of the constitutionally mandated count of all persons and prevents partisan manipulation of the Census, which is the cornerstone of our democracy.  Judge Furman’s careful and meticulous ruling confirms what was clear from the start: the citizenship question was about undercutting the integrity of the Census, not protecting voting rights.”

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