Nine of the leading national civil rights and racial justice organizations commend the SCOTUS ruling that blocks the citizenship question from being included in the 2020 Census. And yet, we remain cautious and steadfast against any pending arguments to add the question at a later date. The Commerce Department and the Census Bureau should immediately proceed with preparations for a 2020 Census that does not include the citizenship question.
The question has not appeared on the decennial Census since the 1950s, and earlier in the year, lower courts ruled that the question was unconstitutional because it would impair the government's ability to carry out the constitutional mandate for a head count of every person living in the U.S., regardless of citizenship status.
Census Bureau research, racial justice organizations, and immigrant rights advocacy groups all concluded that this untested question would have interfered with the critical goal of a fully accurate Census. This is a win for democracy today, but it is temporary; the fight for a full and fair count is not over. We must continue to be resolute in blocking the administration from taking aggressive steps to alter this decision.
Our organizations are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure a full and accurate 2020 Census. Immigrants must be encouraged to respond to the Census to ensure that their communities are fully counted and that they receive the full share of federal resources to which they are entitled.
This is an “all hands on deck” moment. We must all stand up for the representation and budget allocations our communities deserve by participating in the 2020 Census. Now is the time to call on Congress to appropriate more resources to ensure preparedness, effective outreach, and to deploy workers to reach the hardest-to-count communities. Our organizational coalition remains deeply committed to working with our communities to ensure that they are accurately counted and represented in the 2020 Census.
Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations (the Anchors) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.