CA Latino Legislative Caucus Statement on Federal Court Decision to Vacate Citizenship Question from 2020 U.S. Census

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
SACRAMENTO – On behalf of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Chairwoman of the Caucus, issued the following statement in response to today’s ruling by United States District Court Judge Jesse Furman vacating the Trump Administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
 
“The California Latino Legislative Caucus applauds the just and proper ruling by Judge Furman to remove a citizenship question from the 2020 Census,” said Chairwoman Gonzalez. “California relies on the decennial Census to provide a full and fair count of all residents. Having a citizenship question on the 2020 census form would only lead to a substantial undercount of residents by exacerbating fears within the Latino community and undermining trust in the Census count program.
 
“Unfortunately, we believe the Trump Administration is well aware that such an undercount would negatively impact all Californians through the reduction of federal funding and the likely loss of Congressional representation,” added Chairwoman Gonzalez.
In May of 2018, the California Latino Legislative Caucus joined MALDEF and 21 other organizations as plaintiffs in filing a lawsuit in the district court of Maryland against the Trump Administration, arguing that the administration’s decision to add the citizenship question is motivated by racial animus.
 
“While Judge Furman’s decision correctly concluded that adding a citizenship question violates the Administrative Procedures Act, we share the opinion of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), who have concluded that the Judge’s decision on the constitutional issue of intentional discrimination failed ‘to accord adequate weight the ample indications of intentional racial discrimination,’” added Gonzalez. “For this reason, we look forward to the upcoming trial next week in district court of Maryland to resolve the issues not resolved in Judge Furman’s court.”
 
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The California Latino Legislative Caucus serves as a forum for members from the State Senate and Assembly to identify key issues affecting Latinos and develop avenues to empower the Latino Community throughout California. Following in the footsteps of generations of pioneering Latinos who settled and helped build this great state, Latino legislators united in 1973 to maximize their power notwithstanding their limited numbers. Since its creation 46 years ago, the Caucus has grown in both numbers and stature. There are now a record 33 members of the Caucus and more than half of the legislative members are women. The Caucus boasts a rich history of empowerment, legislative and political success and serves as one of the most influential and strategic organizations in California.