People For the American Way

PFAW and Allies Rally as the Supreme Court Rules on the Census Citizenship Question

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PFAW and Allies Rally as the Supreme Court Rules on the Census Citizenship Question

PFAW has long been on the front lines fighting against systems and practices that jeopardize our country’s ideals of fairness and justice- including discriminatory voter suppression tactics that unfairly influence or suppress people’s votes and undermining the census, a critical tool in protecting equity and civil rights.

On June 27, the Supreme Court voted on whether the 2020 census could include a citizenship question. As the Supreme Court released a decision that temporarily blocked the addition of the question on the 2020 Census- a move that could result in a massive undercount among historically underserved communities-PFAW joined a rally outside the Supreme Court led by CASA, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to protest its inclusion.

Nana Gyamfi, a human rights and criminal defense attorney and founder of the Community Legal Clinic and Transformative Justice Center, spoke about the injustice of adding a citizenship question and the historical context around policies shielding racism. She stated that it is a clear attempt to target communities of color, low-income people, LGBTQ+ people, and immigrant communities and make it difficult for them to take part in the census.

Maya, a member of CASA and a plaintiff in the citizenship question case, gave an impassioned speech about her personal experiences with discriminatory policies and advocated for everyone in her community to be counted.

Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA, encouraged people to keep fighting for a fair census. He stated that it is a group effort, and that the citizenship question could be blocked if our voices remain unified.

Vanessa Gonzalez from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights talked about how the citizenship question is being used as a fearmongering tactic, but that we cannot let the administration succeed in their campaign to disenfranchise entire communities.

A representative from Asian Americans Advancing Justice discussed the unjust reasoning behind the inclusion of the citizenship question and how they are determined to give everyone the ability to participate in the 2020 Census.

A legal representative from CASA gave a breakdown of the census decision stating that the fight against the citizenship question would continue in the lower courts.

Sheila E. Isong, the national political director for civic engagement at the NAACP, talked about how the census vote was not a complete victory, but said it was a step in the right direction. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D.-TX) gave a speech about how the census decision was a win, but there is still a pressing need to fight to protect our democracy.

On July 2, the Department of Justice announced that the government would start printing census forms without a citizenship question. But on July 3, Trump insisted that they’d find a way to ask, and his administration appears to be following suit. We’ll continue to monitor these developments.


2020 Census Counts, anti-immigrant, citizenship, Immigrant Rights, Protecting the Right to Vote, rallying, Supreme Court, voting rights