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Congresswoman Grace Meng

Representing the 6th District of New York

Meng Applauds Supreme Court Decision to Block Citizenship Question

Jun 27, 2019
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) issued the following statement after the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire.
 
“I am pleased that the Supreme Court has blocked the Trump administration today from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census and I am hopeful that in the end a citizenship question will not be included on the questionnaire.
 
From the beginning, the citizenship question was grounded in racist and reckless intent. The administration has continuously lied about how and why they sought to add this question – including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross lying directly to my face during a House hearing last year. The evidence speaks for itself – and it most certainly does not pass the smell test. The discovery of documents showing that a Republican strategist communicated with a top census official about the issue, and President Trump invoking executive privilege on subpoenaed citizenship question-related materials, further illustrate the administration’s politicization of the census, and its attempt to skew it in favor of the GOP. This blatant weaponization of the census is unconscionable and shameful, and it has constantly undermined the process. Ultimately, the Supreme Court said the Secretary using the Voting Rights Act enforcement as rationale behind the question was ‘contrived.’
 
While we can celebrate today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, it is imperative that we do everything humanly possible to obtain a complete and accurate census count. We must communicate to all our fellow neighbors that responding to the census is of national importance. There must be as much outreach as possible, and it must be done as early as possible, to help ensure that everybody knows the importance of participating in the census. We must not allow an undercount to shortchange our neighborhoods and communities, and deny us the critical resources to fix our roads, fund our schools, support our elderly, or limit congressional representation. We will not be erased, we will not be underrepresented, and we must make every attempt to ensure that every person is counted. There are no do-overs with the census; a mistake is a 10-year mistake. The best response to the addition of this question is to get the fullest count possible.”
 
Since early last year, Meng has led the charge in Congress against the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. She has continuously spoken out against adding the question, authored an op-ed on the issue, and has stood with immigration activists and immigration advocacy organizations to publically oppose it. She also secured $8.45 billion in the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill for outreach efforts by the Census Bureau. During an Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in March 2018, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross lied to Meng when she asked him if the President or anybody in the White House spoke to him or his team about adding the citizenship question. He said he was not aware of any discussions, but then a court filing later revealed that the Secretary did talk about the issue with the White House’s then-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.