Judge Lets Challenge to Census Citizenship Question Move Forward

(Photo/U.S. Census Bureau/Public Information Office)

A federal judge grilled the government on Tuesday at a hearing regarding the White House’s attempt to dismiss the lawsuit against the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman is set to issue his written decision within the next couple of weeks, but orally said it is “unlikely” that he will dismiss the case, underscoring potential evidence of “bad faith” on the part of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross who based the pretext for the question on the Voting Rights Act.

He ordered the government to turn over more information on the case by July 23.

“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 aide and political power in Congress. Today’s hearing 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.

In April, the New York Attorney General’s office launched the lawsuit against the federal government, with 16 states, the District of Columbia, several cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors also joining the litigation.

Rebecca Sanin, President/CEO of Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, said in a statement that since 10,000 immigrant children have joined the Long Island community in recent years, an accurate count is fundamental to ensure adequate resources for local schools and agencies.

“It is critical for the health of our local economy and the vitality of Long Island’s future.” she said.

Earlier this year, a unified front of 19 Long Island organizations urged Wilbur Ross, secretary of the Department of Commerce, which includes the Census Bureau, to shut down the citizenship question,
Newsday reported.