(CBS SF) — In a huge victory for civil rights groups, the Trump administration has decided to move ahead with the 2020 Census without adding a citizenship question following months of debate over the issue.
Department of Justice attorney Kate Bailey confirmed the decision in an email. “We can confirm that the decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process,” said Bailey.READ MORE: Worker Shortage Lingers As San Francisco Restaurants Attempt To Recover From COVID Fiscal Woes
The decision to move on with the census comes a week after the Supreme Court ruled the administration’s explanation for adding the citizenship question – purportedly to assist in the enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – was contrived and insufficient.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, has been accused of using the citizenship question to depress minority responses for political purposes.
Civil rights advocates maintained the citizenship question would lead to an inaccurate count of immigrants, skewing the numbers used to determine distribution of congressional seats and billions in federal funding.READ MORE: Colorful, Dramatic Atmospheric Performance At de Young Museum Wows Crowd
The ACLU represented a coalition of immigrant advocacy groups in one of two lawsuits in which the Supreme Court ruled. Those two cases were filed in a federal court in New York and the other one was filed by 18 states and a group of cities and counties including San Francisco and Monterey County.
ACLU attorney Dale Ho said in a statement, “In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Trump administration had no choice but to proceed with printing the 2020 census forms without a citizenship question. Everyone in America counts in the census, and today’s decision means we all will.”
Four other challenges, including one by the state of California, were filed in federal courts in California and Maryland, but had not yet reached the Supreme Court.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Estrada Fire Containment 35%; Evacuation Orders Downgraded as Crews Mop Up
In all six cases, federal trial judges issued preliminary injunctions blocking the question.