CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS EXPAND LAWSUIT CHALLENGING TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ATTACK ON CENSUS

Advancing Justice - AAJC and MALDEF File Second Amended Complaint in Lupe V. Ross
For Immediate Release
Contact
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144 mboykins@advancingjustice-aajc.org

(Greenbelt, MD) – Civil rights groups are expanding an ongoing 2019 federal lawsuit to include claims against the Trump administration’s unprecedented attempt to cut short the 2020 Census and to exclude some individuals from the data used for apportionment.

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) filed the amended complaint Wednesday on behalf of membership organizations and Latino and Asian American voters who say they would be harmed by the administration’s plans, which seek to dilute minority voting strength while increasing white representation.

"Beginning with lies to Congress and public about the now-defeated citizenship question and extending through the recent blatantly partisan manipulation of household data collection, the Trump administration has corrupted our national Census beyond any semblance of constitutional endeavor," said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel.  "Fortunately, the court system can stop this travesty of politicized social science, and we look forward to restoring confidence in our nation's decennial enumeration."

The revised lawsuit includes constitutional and statutory challenges to a Presidential memorandum issued last month by President Donald J. Trump that seeks to exclude undocumented immigrants from the constitutionally mandated enumeration of all “persons living in the United States” for purposes of apportioning seats in the House of Representatives.

Additionally, the amended complaint says the Census Bureau’s recently announced plan to end the counting of non-responsive individuals a month earlier than scheduled will discriminate against immigrants and people of color.

“Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC is determined to put a stop to this President’s attempt to politicize the census and use the Census Bureau and data collected for partisan gain,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Advancing Justice – AAJC. “Let me say it clearly. The memorandum is unconstitutional. Not counting every person for apportionment is unconstitutional. We look forward to our day in court to fight for every Latino and Asian American.”

MALDEF’s and Advancing Justice | AAJC’s first lawsuit, filed in 2019, already challenges the administration’s plan to create a new Census block level citizenship dataset for states to use to exclude primarily Latinos, Asian Americans, and noncitizens from political representation after 2021.

Trump’s citizenship dataset order was issued soon after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, and as MALDEF and Advancing Justice | AAJC asked a federal court to reconsider whether the administration conspired with others to add the citizenship question as a way to intentionally discriminate against Latinos and Asian Americans.

Read the amended complaint HERE and Census Timeline HERE

 

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