CASA, Immigrants’ Rights Groups Challenged the Order

NEW YORK — A federal court has blocked President Trump’s order seeking to keep undocumented immigrants from being counted in the U.S. census.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, New York Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Texas, ACLU of Southern Califor-nia, and Arnold & Porter.

Plaintiffs are the New York Immigration Coalition, Make the Road New York, CASA, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, ADC Research Institute, FIEL Houston, and AHRI for Justice.

The groups were in court last week for arguments before U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman of the U.S. District Court in New York.

The lawsuit challenged “President Trump’s lawless attempt to exclude un-documented immigrants from the ‘persons’ who must be counted in the cen-sus for purposes of apportioning congressional seats to states.”

The lawsuit is New York Immigration Coalition v. Trump.

The following comments are from:

Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA: “Everyone living in this country should be counted in the census. The Trump administration’s scare tactics only serve as fuel for the fight for justice. We won’t stop until the cen-sus — and the political representation and resources it offers — are protected.”

Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, argued the case and had the following reaction to today’s ruling: “This is a huge victory for voting rights and for immigrants’ rights. President Trump has tried and failed yet again to weaponize the census against immigrant communities. The law is clear — every person counts in the census.”

Javier H. Valdés, co-executive director of Make the Road New York: “This is an enormously important decision for our com-munities, which will help ensure we are counted. Time and time again the Trump administration has recklessly tried to erase immigrants and deny our communities the representation and resources that we deserve. Yet again we have defeated them.”

Steve Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition: “When it comes to matters of the census, the scoreboard reads: im-migrant advocates 2, Trump 0. Today’s ruling is a victory for every American who cares about the health of our democracy. By blocking the Trump admin-istration’s second crude attempt to manipulate the census to exclude immi-grant communities, the courts have made it clear that Trump cannot ignore the U.S. Constitution to politicize the 2020 census.This ruling emphasizes that all of us — including all immigrant New Yorkers — count for the cen-sus, as the Constitution makes clear. But with only 20 days to go before the 2020 census ends, we don’t have time to celebrate! This ruling is a signal that we must redouble our efforts to assure immigrant communities that they can and must participate in the census safely, and as required by law. There’s too much on the line for New Yorkers to let the Trump administra-tion’s fear tactics rob us of political power or billions of dollars that we des-perately need to rebuild our economy and strengthen our infrastructure over the next 10 years.”

Cesar Espinosa, executive director of FIEL: “We are elated to have collaborated up until this point with the ACLU and all parties involved in this lawsuit. We want to make sure that our community knows that they count and we will go to any means to make sure that their humanity is re-spected. We want to make sure that we do not go back in time when humans are counted as a fraction of a person. We hope that the Trump administra-tion desists in attacking our community for his own political gain. We must fight we will fight in the courts and in our communities.”

New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman: “This racist and anti-democratic Hail Mary by President Trump to undermine the census has fallen flat. Trump’s attempts to intimi-date and cut immigrants out of the census count have been nothing more than cruel ploys to dehumanize immigrants, deceive the public, and rig the process to cut resources and political power from states like New York. As the court recognized, the Constitution requires a count of all people, regard-less of immigration status, because everyone matters and everyone counts.”

Julia Gomez, staff attorney with ACLU SoCal: “The Trump adminis-tration’s shameful attempts to target immigrant communities have once again failed. The census is still underway, and this victory helps to ensure that our clients, organizations that work with immigrant communities throughout the country, can focus their efforts on making sure everyone counts.”