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San José Mayor Sam Liccardo Responds to Supreme Court Ruling on Trump Administration’s 2020 Census Citizenship Question: “It Appears Too Soon to Celebrate”

Mayor Liccardo Vows to Continue Work to Ensure Accurate Count

Post Date:06/27/2019

San José, Calif. – In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling today on the Trump Administration’s attempt to depress participation in the 2020 Census by adding a question about the respondent’s citizenship status, San José Mayor Sam Liccardo issued the following statement:

“Today, while we applaud the Supreme Court’s recognition that this Administration has offered only ‘contrived’ explanations for its discriminatory census policy, it appears too soon to celebrate. We await further proceedings to know whether this nation’s courts will ultimately affirm the fundamental principle that we have long embraced in San José: everyone counts.

The Trump Administration must not succeed in its efforts to depress participation in the 2020 Census by stoking fear in our immigrant community. The impacts are severe—artificially reducing California’s representation in Congress, and slashing critical funding for the essential services—such as healthcare, housing, and education—upon which all our residents depend.”

In 2018, the City of San José was among the first in the Country to file suit against the Trump Administration to challenge its efforts to add the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The suit cited that a citizenship question in a diverse city like San José—where 40% of residents are immigrants—would result in an undercount of San José residents, putting federal funding for critical public services at risk. The suit also stated that the question would exacerbate privacy concerns, and lead to inaccurate
responses from noncitizens worried about a government record of their immigration status. Residual uncertainty from this decision may still lead to a Census undercount. In 2010, Census undercounts cost San José nearly $200 million in Federal and State funding. To mitigate these potential effects, the City of San José has implemented an aggressive outreach campaign to ensure accurate counts, including Local Update of Census Addresses operation (LUCA)—an effort that leveraged a texting tool to identify non-traditional housing units in low-income and diverse San José communities. The City is also in close partnership with community-based organizations to help build community trust through the Complete Count Committee, targeted outreach and volunteer efforts, and a mini-grant program.

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