NEW YORK, NY - Today, pursuant to the Federal Judge Jesse Furman of the Southern District of New York’s earlier order in the lawsuit New York v. Department of Commerce requiring the Department of Commerce to turn over government files because the Trump administration had acted in bad faith, several documents were released. These documents reveal conversations regarding the addition of a citizenship question to the census that conflict with previous statements made by the administration.
In his testimony, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross repeatedly claimed that the request came from the Department of Justice when in fact he made it himself.
Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:
“This was a blatant lie by the Trump administration in an effort to suppress immigrant communities, and ultimately harms the health of our New York. We applaud Judge Furman for seeing through this transparent attempt to conceal their true motives, and look forward to Attorney General’s lawsuit moving forward. Together, with the New York Counts 2020 coalition partners, we will ensure that every New Yorker is counted.”
On April 3rd, the New York Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit– New York v. Dept of Commerce– in the Southern District of New York to stop the Commerce Department from adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Currently 18 states, the District of Columbia, several cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have joined the New York Attorney General’s lawsuit. The lawsuit argues that adding the citizenship question violates the Constitution, which requires an actual count of every person, and violates the Administrative Procedure Act because it is arbitrary and capricious, and reverses seven decades of precedent without a factual basis. On May 25, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Judge Furman on July 3rd stated it was “unlikely he would dismiss the case in its entirety” and granted the AG’s office request for additional documents beyond letters already released.
The New York Immigration Coalition, together with sixty partners, has formed New York Counts 2020, a coalition to counter the expected impact of the citizenship question on the 2020 census. The addition of 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. With immigrants constituting nearly 1 out of 4 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.
The New York Counts 2020 coalition includes:
Academy of Medical and Public Health Services
African Services Committee
American Immigration Lawyers Association - New York Chapter
Arab American Association of New York
Asian American Federation
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Association for Better New York
Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD)
Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services (BACDYS)
Catholic Migration Services
Center for Law and Social Justice, Medgar Evers College
Charles B. Wang Community Health Center
Chinese-American Planning Council
Chinese Progressive Association
Citizens' Committee for Children of New York
Citizens Union Foundation
Community Legal Advocates of NY
Community Voices Heard
Desis Rising Up and Moving
Digital Equity Laboratory, The New School
Emerald Island Immigration Center
Fiscal Policy Institute
Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.
Health and Welfare Council of Long Island
Indivisible Nation BK
Japanese American Social Services, Inc.
Jewish Community Relations Council
Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York
Literacy Assistance Center
LiUNA Local 78
MinKwon Center for Community Action
NAACP-New York Branch
NALEO Educational Fund
New York Immigration Coalition
New York Legal Assistance Group
New York City Employment and Training Coalition
New York State Council on Children and Families
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson
Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow
Russian Speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx, Inc.
Sunnyside Community Services
Treatment Action Group
Queens College, CUNY/Social Explorer
UJA-Federation of New York
United Neighborhood Houses
Vision Urbana, Inc.
Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County
Wayne Action for Racial Justice
Worker’s Center of Central New York
YMCA of Greater New York