Community Advocates Host Victory Rally in Response to SCOTUS Decision on Census Citizenship Question

June 27th, 2019

NY Advocates and Allies rally to celebrate the blocking of the citizenship question in the 2020 Census

New York, NY– Today, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision to block the inclusion of the citizenship question and remand the case back to the lower court in its review of The Department of Commerce v. New York State et al.

New York Counts 2020 members and immigration advocates, who fought to prevent the inclusion of the citizenship question, will host a rally applauding the decision and affirming their commitment to working with their communities to maximize participation in the 2020 Census.

Steve Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, convener of New York Counts 2020, said, "The Supreme Court’s decision to block the citizenship question and send the case back to the lower courts is a victory for immigrants, communities of color, and our democracy. We have always known that the Trump administration’s inclusion of the question was designed to deny immigrant rich states access to our fair share of federal funding and political power. But the fight is not over. Today, we call on the lower courts to uphold Judge Furman’s ruling against the citizenship question and to ensure that New Yorkers will be counted in the 2020 Census—ALL of us: immigrants, communities of color, children, senior citizens, and all undercounted people.”

Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq., Acting Executive Director of the Center for Law and Social Justice, said, "The Center for Law and Social Equity at Medgar Evers College (CLSJ) was founded on the principle that all people deserve justice, particularly those who are marginalized by race and class. Today’s Supreme Court decision provides a modicum of justice to vulnerable people throughout this country, sparing them from the wrenching choice between representation and safety. We applaud this landmark ruling to block a question rooted in racism that would have suppressed communities of color in order to grant the Republican party disproportionate political influence. This decision will help support CLSJ’s critical work of ensuring that New York’s African-descendant communities are accurately counted. That is how we can ensure that these communities receive their fair share of federal dollars and representation."

John Park, Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, said, "We are very encouraged by the Supreme Court's ruling today, which we hope effectively blocks the citizenship question from the 2020 Census, but we are not completely in the clear. What is clear, is the Trump administration has been weaponizing the 2020 Census as a partisan tool to further hurt and reduce the voice of immigrant and marginalized communities. Even if adding the citizenship question was never attempted, the 2020 Census would still be in peril because of the fear and mistrust the Trump administration has sewn into our communities. Today's SCOTUS decision does not mean we have won—who ultimately wins is now up to every single one of us to be counted in the 2020 Census."

Derek Perkinson, Chapter Director, National Action Network (NAN), said, "Today, the political dishonesty of this administration has lost its bid to game our democracy. Democracy wins today due to the courage of our Supreme Court Justices. A fair and complete Census 2020 count is all we have asked for, and this decision aligns with our goal of including all ethnic groups, regardless of citizenship status."

Annetta Seecharran, Executive Director, Chhaya Community Development Corporation, said, “Our communities are breathing a sigh of relief today! We are part and parcel of America, and our presence here must be "counted”. No additional reasoning should sway justice in the wrong direction—the Supreme Court must maintain the decision to remove the citizenship question.”

Shamier Settle, State Policy Fellow, The Fiscal Policy Institute, said, “The court said that the administration can't add a citizenship question to the Census for partisan political purposes and then make up a different reasoning after the fact. But there is still a long way to go to make sure there is a full count and a lot of damage has already been done to the trust that makes this count possible. Based on The Fiscal Policy Institute’s research we know how critical it is for the city and state to fund that organizations that will work prepare everyone for the count in April 2020.”

"CPC proudly celebrates the Supreme Court's decision to remove the citizenship question on the 2020 Census, and remains watchful for the fight ahead. The addition of the question was a willful politicization of the Census for partisan gain. In its removal, the Court upheld the administrative laws that prevent federal agencies from weaponizing the tools that are meant to preserve our democracy. Communities of color, immigrants, children, and low-income families stood the most to lose by a Census undercount, so as we celebrate today, we also remain vigilant and ready to fight any attempt to reinstate it," said Amy Torres, Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC). "As one of the fastest growing racial groups in the country, CPC stands with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities who rely on accurate, disaggregated data for increased visibility, representation in government, and access to political power. Today, we celebrate our allies and advocates who have championed our communities with us from the start, and will continue to stand together with all New Yorkers for a full, fair count."