By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. July 23, 2020: Several Caribbean American Congress members are among those strongly condemning the US President’s latest executive order directing the federal government not to count undocumented immigrants when allocating congressional districts based on the 2020 Census.
The memorandum marks the Trump administration’s latest effort to change the way US populations are counted and advance the President’s immigration agenda.
Brooklyn, NY Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke, called the order unconstitutional and a campaign stunt quote: “aimed directly at his base of deplorables clinging to the last vestiges of white supremacy in America.”
Cuban born New Jersey Congressman Albio Sires called the policy “predatory,” adding that it “will harm many communities by reducing the amount of resources they receive.”
“Undocumented immigrants are a vital part of our society, economy, and communities and they must be included in this important process. I urge the administration to revoke this harmful policy immediately,” he added.
But Dominican Republic-born, NY Congressman, Adriano Espalliat was more direct, writing on Twitter: “We will fight you! Shame on the Trump Administration for trying to exclude immigrants and undocumented persons from the Apportionment Base after the #2020Census.”
And he added: “Get ready for the lawsuits coming your way. Trump is an irresponsible, self-centered, immigrant obsessed, reckless president.”
Civil rights groups responded indeed. They were already challenging the order Trump issued last year directing the U.S. Census Bureau to gather citizenship data from administrative records. On Wednesday they made a request in federal court to expand their complaint to include the new directive Trump issued Tuesday.
A federal judge in Maryland granted the request during a hearing held by telephone even as The Census Bureau remains currently in the middle of its once-a-decade head count.
So far, Census.gov reports 62.2% of the country has responded to the census, which has been going on for months.
This year, for the first time, Caribbean and other immigrants are allowed to document their ancestry and nationality on the Census, thanks to the lobbying effort of CARIB ID and its founder, Felicia J. Persaud.
Persaud said on Wednesday that the President’s continued efforts to scapegoat immigrants and undermine the Census proves he is afraid, like many in his base, that the immigrant population in the US is growing.
“It is why immigrants must take the census,” she said. “The new mantra in the immigrant community should be: ‘Take The Census and Stick It to Trump.’”