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Citizenship Question, a Political Hit to Suppress Latinos

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Citizenship Question, a Political Hit to Suppress Latinos

CONTACT: Christiaan Perez, cperez@latinojustice.org, 212-739-7581

On Thursday, evidence was submitted to the Supreme Court in the case Department of Commerce, et al. v. New York, et al. that reinforces what many of us already suspected, that the Trump administration’s addition of “citizenship question” to the 2020 census was a political move to suppress the power of Latinos and other minority groups. The evidence submitted includes direct communications by Republican partisan political operatives detailing how and why they first contemplated adding a  citizenship question in 2015. This administration has followed, step for step, the process outlined in 2015 to further marginalize people of color. The documents submitted provide yet further integral evidence to compel the Supreme Court to render a decision affirming lower court orders enjoining the citizenship question from being implemented. 

LatinoJustice earlier this year submitted an Amicus [link to amicus] “friend of the court” brief that detailed “on a number of fronts, [how] the Administration has made clear its intent to limit the number of immigrants from Latin America, and to deport the immigrants that are already here. Thomas Homan, the Acting Director of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), testified before Congress that every undocumented immigrant in the country “should be uncomfortable. You should look over your shoulder. And you need to be worried.”

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision in June on the legality of the citizenship question and which will have a significant impact on everything from federal funding for schools and roads to Latinx political voice for the next decade and beyond. We call upon the Supreme Court to uphold the ban on the squestion and stop the Trump administration from marginalizing our communities. Increasing numbers of Latinos continue to fear the Federal government and more and more underrepresented communities of color are at risk of being undercounted.

“Today’s news and court filings confirm what we have suspected all along - that the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question on the upcoming 2020 Census was part of an organized partisan effort to disenfranchise Latinos and to dilute Latino political power,” said Jorge Luis Vasquez Jr., Associate Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.