Today, the Supreme Court delayed its decision on whether to add a “citizenship question” to the 2020 Census citing legally inadequate explanations from the lower courts. The decision on whether to add the citizenship question now remains up in the air as the Supreme Court is now waiting for a fuller explanation from the lower courts before moving forward.
Since the initial announcement of including the citizenship question in March 2018, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) & Affiliates (Korean Resource Center of southern California, HANA Center of greater Chicago, and NAKASEC VA) have been underscoring the racist and anti-immigrant intentions of the Trump Administration to add in the question. Moreover, recent documents have also emerged linking former Republican strategist, Thomas Hoffeler, to the Trump administration in their efforts to add the citizenship question to the next census. Adding this question would create an electoral advantage for, in Hoffeler’s words, “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites."
The court opinion partially upheld a January ruling from Southern District of New York Judge Jesse Furman. Furman ruled that the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the census violated US law by being “arbitrary and capricious,” since the Trump administration’s stated reasoning for adding the question (to help enforce the Voting Rights Act) was shown at trial to be an after-the-fact excuse.
By suppressing the counts of immigrant communities, including Asian Americans who are already least likely to complete the Census form, it is clear that the Trump administration continues to build a police state and terrorize our immigrant communities. In other words, the Census has become a tool for the Trump Administration to erase communities of color from this country. His administration continues to use the Census to erase communities of color from this country. Though we are relieved that the citizenship question was not added today, we are angered to see racist attacks continue from Trump continue for his own political gain.
Moreover, at a time when the Trump Administration has vastly broadened incarceration along the southern border with the explicitly cruel and dehumanizing campaign to separate children from their parents, this decision from the Supreme Court cannot be understood as a distinct incident with no relation to politics.
NAKASEC & Affiliates will be following the Citizenship Question closely and will alert our community of any new developments. Furthermore, we urge AAPIs, immigrants, and communities of color to participate as best as they can in the 2020 Census. So while non-citizens continue to pay taxes and improve neighborhoods across the country, we will let the Trump administration know that the AAPI and immigrant communities will not be intimidated. We will win the resources for programs important to us, such as funding for programs like Medicaid, Medicare Part B, Head Start, and public schools. We remain committed to our fight for full citizenship for all and an inclusive democracy.
If you have any questions, you can contact: HANA Center (773-583-5501), KRC (323-937-3718), or NAKASEC VA (703-256-2208) KRC (323-937-3718 ext 0)