Successful Supreme Court Litigators to Prepare New Challenge
Hyattsville, MD ― Today, CASA condemned the latest attempt by President Trump to undermine the success of the Census. Gustavo Torres, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest immigrant advocacy group CASA, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s anti-democratic order banning undocumented immigrants from being counted in the Census.
“Trump’s Census order is both astonishingly anti-democratic and nakedly political; the President wants to simultaneously deny the existence of millions of hard-working immigrants in this country and the strength of regions that have welcomed them as neighbors. In what must be the first time in history, a U.S. President has explicitly said that he believes that parts of the country that disagree with him politically should have their congressional representation reduced. Each time you think Trump can’t sink any lower, down he goes.
“The Constitution requires the government to conduct a census every 10 years. The goal is clear: to count all people living in the United States without exception — adults and children, citizens and noncitizens alike.
“The Census is a fundamental pillar of our democracy and informs our nation’s most important decisions, including how federal resources are divided up, where roads, hospitals and schools are built, and fair Congressional representation is issued.
“The Census – and our fight – is about ensuring that our communities are fully represented in this country. We won before the Supreme Court when Trump tried to add a citizenship question to the Census and we will win again to ensure a complete count in 2020.”
Two years ago, when President Trump first tried to intimidate immigrant communities from participating in the Census by adding a citizenship question to the count, CASA sued to prevent it and won before the Supreme Court. The Trump administration’s action today is even more clearly unconstitutional, as they seek not just to chill participation from noncitizens, but literally to remove them from the final numbers. CASA will again fight this in court and ensure that everyone is counted in the 2020 Census.
CASA’s work on the 2020 Census went both very wide and very deep. In addition to litigating, CASA implemented a very large Census education program in its three states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Prior to COVID restrictions going into place, CASA’s staff knocked on 57,330 doors and held 113 house meetings and Census workshops. As COVID social distancing rules took effect, the program switched virtual. Through the end of June, CASA staff, family, and friends sent 727,161 texts and made 183,177 to educate Latinos and West African immigrants about the importance of filling out the Census form. CASA also launched an innovative digital media program through the creation of Lucas, a pre-teen cartoon boy who engages his community on the importance of filling out the Census, and an influencers program where local popular social media mavens combined with CASA leaders to shoot videos and promote the Census with their followers. Altogether these programs resulted in 4,214,296 impressions layered on the same social media users receiving CASA texts and calls and an additional 1,971,999 impressions delivered through influencers.
With over 100,000 members across the states of Maryland, Virginia, and South Central Pennsylvania, CASA is the largest member-based Latino and immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region. CASA organizes with and litigates on behalf of low-wage immigrants. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall