SUMMIT, NJ — New York and other states with large immigrant populations scored a big legal victory last week, after the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision blocked the commerce department from adding this question to the 2020 U.S. Census: “Is this person a citizen of the United States?”
The Trump administration argued that the question is necessary for an accurate national headcount. But opponents of the citizenship question said that including it could deter immigrants, particularly the undocumented, from responding.
“With the severe undercount could have been inaccurate. Congressional, legislative, city and county lines could have wrong and many localities could have lost representation,” said Letitia James, NY Attorney General.
Chief Justice John Roberts,who joined the court’s liberal bloc, questioned the government’s reasoning for adding the question saying the evidence tells a story that does not match the government’s explanation. He ordered the case to be reconsidered by a lower court.
President Donald Trump raised the possibility of a delay.
But there might not be enough time.
“The further we delay it, the further we risk to not having an accurate count. This is really all about an accurate count.”
Eric Salcedo, the national field director for Asian Pacific Islander American Vote, said that their preparation for the 2020 census continues, despite potential challenges.
“We are proceeding with the regular deadline for the census. And Census Day is April 1st 2020. And it’s US law that census must be conducted on that day. And the information must be delivered from the Census Bureau by December 2020.”
The census bureau’s primary mission is to conduct a census every ten years.
The number of U.S. House of Representatives to the states is based on their population. Information gathered is used to allocate $800 billion in federal funds annually for community programs and services.
“It impacts the types of resources we get for our families, whether or not there’s a senior center that gets built in your community. It impacts the type of education funding that our children receive, it impacts our ability to go to work in terms of commuting in metropolitan area, so when it comes down on why it’s important to Asian Americans because we are a larger part of the fabric of our local and state communities.”
According to the 2010 Census, the Asian population totaled more than 17 million with New York having the largest Asian population, followed by Los Angeles.