For Immediate Release

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Immigrant Plaintiffs Claim Victory In Census Question

Plaintiffs to hold PRESS CALL TODAY at 1PM EST

Trump Admin expected to appeal case to 2nd Circuit

New York, NY - Today, Judge Jesse Furman in the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit New York State et al. v the Department of Commerce, blocking the Trump administration’s reckless attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The ruling stated that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross violated the Administrative Procedures Act in his proposal to add a citizenship question.

The suit was consolidated with New York Immigration Coalition v. the Department of Commerce, which argues that the Trump administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census is a racially motivated form of discrimination.

The Trump administration is expected to appeal to the 2nd Circuit.

Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:

“Today’s decision is a victory for all New Yorkers and immigrants across the country, as Judge Furman rebuked the Trump administration’s naked attempt to circumvent the law for its own gain. The Administrative Act cannot be used to rig the Census as part of a white supremacist agenda led by Kris Kobach and Steve Bannon. We expect the administration will appeal, but we’re ready to fight this battle all the way up to the Supreme Court and win. Immigrants are what truly make America great and we’re not going to lose a dime, or our voices to Washington D.C.”

WHAT: Plaintiffs to Hold Press Call to Respond to Major Ruling Against Census Citizenship Question

WHEN: Tuesday, January 15th, 2018

WHERE: By phone: Call-in: 720-707-2699, Meeting ID: 514-246-4220

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/5142464220

WHO:

Plaintiffs: The New York Immigration Coalition, Make the Road New York,

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Legal Team: the American Civil Liberties Union, the New York Civil Liberties Union

The New York Immigration Coalition filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York in conjunction with the ACLU and four other immigrant rights groups against the administration’s attempt to target immigrant communities, challenging the addition of the citizenship question by adding an intentional discrimination claim. The lawsuit argues that adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census violates the Constitution and reverses seven decades of precedent without a factual basis.

Background

On April 3rd, the New York Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit– New York v. Dept of Commerce– in the Southern District of New York to stop the Commerce Department from demanding citizenship information on the 2020 Census. The lawsuit argues that adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census violates the law and reverses seven decades of precedent without a factual basis.

Currently 19 states plus D.C., a number of cities and counties, and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors have joined the New York Attorney General’s lawsuit. On May 25, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Judge Jesse Furman on July 3rd stated it was “unlikely he would dismiss the case in its entirety” and granted the AG’s office request for additional discovery, resulting in the federal government recently releasing new documents.

On June 6th, the New York Immigration Coalition filed a related federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York in conjunction with the ACLU and four other immigrant rights groups. The suit challenges the Trump administration’s plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, by adding an intentional discrimination claim.

On July 26th, Judge Furman ruled against the Trump administration’s request to dismiss New York v. Department of Commerce, and will allow the lawsuit to move forward.

In discovery, the trial uncovered that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross consulted Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist and known white supremacist, and therefore revealed the Administration's racial bias behind adding the question. Ross previously claimed that the request to add the citizenship question spawned from the DOJ, but later backtracked that he and his staff made the initial request.

Additionally, compounding evidence in the concurring California case over the citizenship question found that Trump administration officials suggested they would lift protections that keep Census responses confidential, and share those responses with law enforcement and national security agencies.

On February 19th, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States is slated to address elements of the case to determine what evidence is considered outside and within the administrative record, and therefore admissible as evidence.

The New York Immigration Coalition, together with over ninety partners, has formed New York Counts 2020, a coalition to maximize participation in the census and therefore counter the expected impact of the citizenship question if added to the 2020 census. If included, a citizenship question will stoke unnecessary fear in immigrant communities and could result in a significant undercount, particularly already under-counted racial and ethnic minority groups. With immigrants constituting nearly 1 out of 4 New Yorkers, an undercount in the 2020 Census will have catastrophic consequences – costing all New Yorkers political power and billions of dollars in federal funding for key services.

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The New York Immigration Coalition aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all.  The NYIC promotes immigrants’ full civic participation, fosters their leadership, and provides a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

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