By David Brand
Various Queens leaders and lawmakers have joined an amicus brief challenging the addition of citizenship question to the 2020 US Census in a case currently before the Supreme Court.
Assemblymember David Weprin was one of 190 bipartisan elected officials and municipalities across the country that signed onto the brief, which supports the plaintiffs in Department of Commerce v. New York. The case will determine whether the question appears on the Census.
“I am proud to join the coalition of elected officials and municipalities opposing the discriminatory 2020 Census citizenship question,” Weprin said.
Immigrants’ rights advocates say the citizenship question will discourage noncitizens from completing the Census, which means immigrant-rich regions like New York City will not be accurately represented.
“In my own district, nearly 18 percent of residents are non-citizens but if everyone is not completely counted everyone in my district will be short changed,” Weprin said. “New York State needs an accurate Census count for fair federal funding and representation.”
The U.S. Census determines the allocation of federal funding and the number of representatives per state in the House of Representatives. New York receives nearly $900 billion in federal funding.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York has also become involved in an amicus curiae alongside other New York organizations.
“In a case that is likely to have a tidal wave of amicus briefs, we hope that the broad, prominent group of organizations which joined us on the brief will entice the justices to spend some time thinking about our arguments and concerns,” said JCRC-NY officials Charles Temel and Michael Miller.