Sending Office: Honorable Carolyn B. Maloney
Join Amicus Brief Challenging the Trump Administration’s attempt to add a Citizenship Question to the 2020 Census
I invite you to join an amicus curiae brief to be filed in the case of New York et al. v. United States Department of Commerce, et al. that challenges the Trump administration’s decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census.
The decennial census is the cornerstone of our democracy. Its results determine representation at every level of government, the efficient distribution of almost $800 billion in federal funds each year, and critical data that help businesses grow and move
our economy forward. Given its immense importance, we as Members of Congress, we have a duty to ensure that the census is as fair and accurate as possible.
On March 26, 2018, at the request of the Department of Justice, the Department of Commerce announced that it would include a last minute, untested, question on citizenship to the 2020 census. This decision ignored the Census Bureau’s own research, as well
as concerns raised by the Bureau’s own chief scientist and 6 former census bureau directors that such a question would stoke the fear amongst immigrant populations, reduce response rates and lead to an inaccurate census count.
As the Amicus Brief states, the Census Bureau has long recognized that any effort to ascertain citizenship will inevitably jeopardize the overall accuracy of the population count. These fears are now at an all-time high given threats by the Trump administration
that “every immigrant in the country without papers…should be uncomfortable,” “should look over their shoulder,” and “needs to be worried”. Indeed, the Census Bureau’s own evidence demonstrated “an unprecedented groundswell in confidentiality and data sharing
concerns, particularly among immigrants or those who live with immigrants.”
In response, New York State led 17 other states, the District of Columbia, 6 cities, and the United States Conference of Mayors on a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the citizenship question.
The brief argues that both article 1, section 2 of the constitution and the 14th amendment make clear that the census is intended to count all people residing in the United States both citizen and non-citizen alike. Despite the Secretary of Commerce’s
authority to determine the “Manner” of taking the census, this authority does not give the Secretary power to do an “end-run” around his constitutional duty to count all persons. Furthermore, the addition of an untested citizenship question does not, in any
way, advance any legitimate governmental interest.
Please join me in challenging this unconstitutional attempt to rig the census for partisan gain.
The brief is attached here. We plan to file this brief WEDNESDAY,
JUNE 13. If you have any questions or would like to join the brief, please contact Max Whitcomb (Max.Whitcomb@mail.house.gov)
Carolyn B Maloney
Member of Congress
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