There is truly nothing Trump won’t do to please his rabid, racist fanbase. Whether it’s throwing migrant children in detention centers separately from their families, implementing a travel ban on majority Muslim countries, or making unprecedented changes to the U.S. census in order to track down undocumented immigrants, Trump’s administration has been willing to overstep their bounds to make life as difficult as possible for brown people.
For the first time in U.S. history, the 2020 census will include questions about the respondents’ citizenship status. When immigrant advocates protested the change, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross insisted that he approved the change at the request of the Department of Justice, who told him it was necessary in order to enforce the Voting Rights Act and testified to that in front of Congress. He later changed his story.
‘However, Ross stated in a memo he filed to the court on June 21 that he first considered adding a citizenship question to the census after he was confirmed as commerce secretary in February 2017, months before the Justice Department requested the question. He wrote that he had approached the Justice Department about the question, not the other way around, after consulting with “other senior Administration officials” who had “previously raised” the citizenship question.’
Trump admin suffered big defeat in court today as federal judge slammed its "bad faith" in adding citizenship question to 2020 census & ruled challengers can depose senior officials from Commerce & DOJ https://t.co/nLk7ZycAos
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) July 3, 2018
Ross’s memo is now being used in the court case to show that the administration acted in “bad faith” to add the question to the census form, which is legally mandated to be completed and returned in order for the government to accurately understand the populations they serve. Critics of the added question say that it will make undocumented immigrants less likely to complete the forms and lessen the already vulnerable population’s access to services and resources as a result.
It has yet to be determined whether or not the case will move forward. Special District of NY Judge Jesse Furman is unwilling to simply let the matter go despite the DOJ’s insistence that the court should do so.
‘The Justice Department asked Furman in May to throw out the lawsuit. Furman did not rule on that matter on Tuesday, but he hinted strongly that he would allow the case to proceed. He ordered the Commerce Department to produce any missing documents by July 23 and said he hoped to begin a trial by the end of October. The litigation by the attorney general of New York and 16 other states is one of the six major cases challenging the citizenship question.’
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) July 3, 2018
Featured image via Getty/Mark Wilson