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'Huge Victory for Immigrant Communities': Trump Attempt to Rig 2020 Census Defeated as White House Drops Citizenship Question

"The census is supposed to count everyone, including immigrants. When we stand together and fight back, we can defeat Trump's bigotry."

Demonstrators rally at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on April 23, 2019 to protest a proposal to add a citizenship question in the 2020 census. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The Trump administration late Tuesday reportedly dropped its effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a decision celebrated by rights groups as a "huge victory for immigrant communities" and everyone who mobilized against the White House ploy.

"Donald Trump tried to politicize the upcoming Census 2020 with the nefarious addition of a citizenship question, in a naked effort to instill fear in immigrants and communities of color."
—Steve Choi, New York Immigrant Coalition

Steve Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said in a statement that the Trump administration's decision—announced Tuesday by the Justice Department—"shows what Americans can do when we're united against the Trump administration's anti-immigrant hate."

"Donald Trump tried to politicize the upcoming Census 2020 with the nefarious addition of a citizenship question, in a naked effort to instill fear in immigrants and communities of color," Choi said. "Now it's up to us to make sure all New Yorkers—and all Americans—of every stripe will be counted in Census 2020."

As the New York Times reported Tuesday, Trump administration "officials ordered the Census Bureau to start printing forms for next year's head count without the [citizenship] question."

The decision to drop the push for the citizenship question—which came less than a week after the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the White House's plan—"was made after officials determined that there would not be enough time to continue the legal battle and meet the printing deadlines for the census questionnaire," according to the Washington Post.

"Make no mistake: this is a major victory for democracy and a defeat for the xenophobic Trump administration," said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. "The census is supposed to count everyone, including immigrants. When we stand together and fight back, we can defeat Trump's bigotry."

In a series of tweets late Tuesday, President Donald Trump signaled that he is not giving up the push to add the citizenship question, which rights groups warned would result in an inaccurate census and jeopardize funding and political representation for immigrant communities.

In a statement, Common Cause census project manager Keshia Morris emphasized that the work to ensure an accurate 2020 census is far from finished.

"We must continue to work to overcome the fears created in immigrant communities by the cynical, partisan, and racist attempt to add the citizenship question to the census," said Morris. "We still need to pour every ounce of energy into mobilizing every neighbor and all communities to complete the 2020 census—we cannot allow these partisan attempts to politicize the 2020 Census deter a full count of every person in the United States as called for in the Constitution."

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