June 28 2019

Rep. Maloney, Census Advocates Gather Following SCOTUS Decision on Census Citizenship Question

Jun 28, 2019
Press Release

NEW YORK, NY- Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), co-chair of the House Census Caucus and author of the 2020 Census IDEA Act, gathered with census experts and community advocates in response to the Supreme Court ruling in Department of Commerce v. New York which rejected the Commerce Department’s rationale for adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

The citizenship question has been blocked from the 2020 Census for now, but the fight for a complete count is not over. Just yesterday, President Trump suggested delaying the census to give his Administration time to concoct new pretexts to justify adding the citizenship question again, costing taxpayers even more money and inevitably leading to an undercount. Maloney and the coalition of census advocates made clear that the Trump Administration must not be successful in their efforts to undermine democracy and affect the accuracy of the census. They called for the Census Bureau to start printing census forms without the citizenship question on July 1st to ensure the 2020 Census is conducted promptly, and underscored the ways in which they are focused on supporting community-based outreach initiatives to ensure an accurate count of New Yorkers.

The census is the backbone of our democracy and a full and accurate count of our nation’s residents is crucial. Yesterday’s ruling was a victory for those battling for a fair census, but we cannot stop fighting.  

“Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling confirms what census advocates and I have been saying for months, Secretary Ross lied to the American people, to Congress, and to the Supreme Court when he tried to justify adding a citizenship question to the census. This ruling is a victory for everyone that has fought to protect the 2020 census from partisan political games and ensure that there is a full and accurate count of everyone in our nation, but the fight is not yet over. The US Census Bureau must start printing census forms, without the citizenship question, on July 1st, to ensure the 2020 census is conducted on time. Our democracy depends on a full and accurate count of our nation’s residents, and we cannot afford a delay or any other attempt to jeopardize the accuracy of the 2020 Census” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

“Every single person in this country deserves to be counted, plain and simple,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “This one question could have caused a substantial undercount, particularly of noncitizens and Latinos, but thanks to the Court, the census will remain a tool for delivering on our government’s promise of fairness and equity. Our democracy withstood this challenge, but many threats continue to lie ahead from the Trump Administration and we will never stop fighting to protect justice.”

“Yesterday’s decision affirms that the Trump Administration cannot utilize its constitutional obligation to count us as a tool to harm us. Rather than uphold the inclusion of the citizenship question, the court has rightly rejected the pretext that the Commerce Department used to justify this wholly baseless question. So while this fight is not yet over, this decision is a key victory for immigrant communities and for the City of New York in our battle to ensure this question stays off the census. With our Administration’s and the City Council’s joint historic $40 million investment in census outreach and education efforts for the city, we will ensure that every community is fully counted in next year's census and that we get our fair share of hundreds of billions in federal funds. Together, we can send a clear and strong message: we will not be silenced; we will not be invisible; and we will be counted,” said Julie Menin, New York City Census Director.

“We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to temporary block the Trump Administration’s addition of the untested citizenship question to the 2020 census. This question was a partisan political attempt to weaponize the census, create fear in black and brown communities, and prevent an accurate count. By blocking the citizenship question, the Supreme Court has chosen to protect the rights of all Americans and the safety of our communities over partisan politics. NAN’s efforts to make sure all Americans are counted don’t end here. Over the coming weeks, months, and year, we will fill to ensure everyone is counted,” said Derek Perkinson, National Action Network NYC Field Director

“A citizenship question on the U.S. Census is toxic to New York’s four million immigrants, and all New Yorkers, who stand to lose millions of dollars in federal aid and political power in Congress. Yesterday's decision was a victory but is not the end of our fight to ensure a fair and accurate count of all New Yorkers. This is our New York and we’re not going to lose a dime, or our voices, to Washington D.C,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

"The Supreme Court's ruling is both a validation of the Constitution and affirmation of diversity in our country," said Julie Samuels, Executive Director of Tech:NYC. "Immigrants contribute immensely to the United States' economy, culture, and global reputation, and have also done so much to grow New York's tech sector. A needlessly partisan question about citizenship would've stunted census responses and sent an unwelcoming message to immigrants, so we applaud the Court for taking a stand."

"CPC celebrates yesterday's Supreme Court's decision to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census as the first win in our continued fight ahead. Adding this question was a willful politicization of the Census for partisan gain. In its temporary 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 stand the most to lose by a Census undercount, so as we celebrate today, we must 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. The fight continues to keep the question off, and ensure that the Census has the proper funding, staffing, and security infrastructure in place to ensure a fair, accurate count."    

"We are very encouraged by the Supreme Court's ruling, which we hope effectively blocks the citizenship question from the 2020 Census, but we are not yet in the clear. What is clear, is the Trump administration has been transforming the 2020 Census into a partisan tool at the expense of our democracy. Even without the White House's attempt to add the citizenship question, the 2020 Census would still be in peril because of the fear and mistrust the Trump administration has sewn into our communities. Today's Supreme Court decision does not mean we have won. That is yet to be determined. Who ultimately wins is now up to every single one of us to be counted in the 2020 Census, " said John Park, Executive Director at the MinKwon Center for Community Action.

“The census is an important tool to make sure New York receives fair and accurate representation, funding, and resources. We have another important tool and that is our voices. We must raise our voices to make sure the citizenship question is not allowed at the last minute and to engage, reassure, and educate our neighbors that the census is safe and needed for the betterment of our communities,” said Danielle Brecker Co-Leader of Empire State Indivisible.


Data from the decennial census helps to determine the distribution of federal funds, including $73 million to New York State. This funding supports programs like Medicare and Medicaid, school lunch vouchers, the children’s health insurance program and heating assistance in the winter. States and cities like New York also use Census data for nearly every planning decision they make, like projecting student populations and designing transportation routes.

Businesses of every size and in every sector similarly rely on census data for strategic planning – whether to open a new store and where, whether to launch a new product, or how to advertise their business.

Census numbers also determine how many electoral votes and seats in the House of Representatives each state is allotted.

Experts estimate that the citizenship question will result in an undercount of as many as 9 million people nationwide.