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Local leaders react to Supreme Court blocking census citizenship question

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Posted at 4:17 PM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 08:24:39-04

BALTIMORE — On Thursday, the Supreme Court announced that they would reject the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, sparking several local leaders to share their reactions.

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh issued a statement on the decision, stating that the addition of the question was a naked attempt to undermine democracy and depress the census count in states like Maryland, that welcome immigrants.

"Commerce Secretary Ross, armed with partisan data and ignoring evidence from his own agency to the contrary, attempted to discourage families with members of recent foreign origin from responding to the census," said Attorney General Frosh.

Justice Breyer notes in his opinion:

‘The record demonstrates that the question would likely cause a disproportionate number of noncitizens and Hispanics to go uncounted in the upcoming census. That, in turn, would create a risk that some States would wrongfully lose a congressional representative and funding for a host of federal programs. And, the Secretary was told, the adverse consequences would fall most heavily on minority communities. The Secretary decided to ask the question anyway, citing a need for more accurate citizenship data. But the evidence indicated that asking the question would produce citizenship data that is less accurate, not more.’

“The State of Maryland will continue to support efforts to ensure an accurate count of Maryland’s residents beginning in 2020,” Attorney General Frosh said.

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young applauded the Supreme Court's decision, stating that in order for the census to be fair and accurate, it's necessary for the Census Bureau to count everyone regardless of immigrant status.

"Historically, immigrants have been underrepresented in the decennial census count," said Mayor Young. "Localities that have experienced recent demographic change such as Baltimore City are likely to be most impacted by an undercount, with significant federal dollars on the table."
"While the legal battles to remove the Citizenship question are not over, I remain committed to ensuring that every Baltimorean is counted and can confidently participate in the upcoming Census," Mayor Young said.

The Hispanic Federation issued a statement on the decision, stating that they take the decision as a win.

“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States barred the Trump administration's attempt to add the citizenship question to the census for now. The case was sent back to lower court, stating that the reasons for adding the question were “contrived.” Hispanic Federation is counting this as a win, but the war is far from over.”
“Recent investigative reports make it clear that this administration added the citizenship question as another tactic in their ongoing assault on communities of color and immigrant families. With so much at stake, the best way to fight back and continue to build the political power of communities of color is to be counted. The health and well-being of our neighborhoods, resources for education, investments in community and economic development programs, and the political representation of communities of color all rely on an accurate census count.”
“With this ruling of the Supreme Court, it is time to get to work. Hispanic Federation remains committed to an accurate 2020 census and we will continue to mobilize alongside our partners to ensure every person, regardless of immigration status, is counted. Not only do America’s immigrant families substantially contribute to our economy, but they are also an integral piece of our culture and society. We must recognize these contributions by ensuring everyone is counted in the 2020 census.”

President Donald Trump said on Twitter following the decision that he’s asked lawyers if they can “delay the Census, no matter how long” until the “United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision” on the issue.