(CMC) — Members of New York’s congressional delegation have offered strong support to New York Attorney General Letitia James in her fight to protect the integrity of the US Census against President Donald Trump’s latest attack on undocumented immigrants.
James, on Monday, led a large coalition of states, cities and counties before the United States Supreme Court in arguing against Trump’s attempts, once again, to illegally leave millions of undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants out of the apportionment base that establishes the number of members in the US House of Representatives that each state receives.
“Once again, President Trump is trying to silence diverse voices from being counted in the census by excluding millions of immigrants from the apportionment base, which determines the number of US Representatives for each state,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler, representative for New York’s 10th Congressional District, on Wednesday.
“This is a clear violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal representation,” he told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). “The Supreme Court must reject yet another attempt by the Trump Administration to manipulate election outcomes and reduce the voting power of diverse, immigrant-rich communities, including those within New York.”
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, who represents New York’s 7th Congressional District in Brooklyn, said, “Donald Trump has made clear, through his anti-immigrant agenda, of his administration’s desire to diminish the role of immigrants in our communities.”
“This latest attempt is blatantly unconstitutional as our Constitution demands that the census count every person,” she said. “Immigrants are our family members, neighbours, co-workers, and friends, and the census must reflect their contributions to our communities by ensuring every person, regardless of legal status, is counted.”
Congressman Gregory Meeks, who represents the 5th Congressional District in Queens, New York, said the Trump administration is “once again attempting to arbitrarily omit immigrants from the census count, which is unconstitutional and nakedly political”.
“I thank Attorney General James for once again being vigilant in challenging the administration’s unlawful attempts to subvert the census,” he said.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who represents the 8th Congressional District, comprising parts of Brooklyn and Queens, said, “The census is a pillar of our democracy, enshrined by the founders to ensure that everyone in America, regardless of immigration status, is counted and represented in Congress.”
“From the start of the 2020 Decennial Census, the Trump administration has deliberately tried to undermine the process required for a fair and complete count,” he said. “The attempted exclusion of undocumented immigrants from congressional apportionment only further proves that the Trump administration has tried everything to politicize the census to carry out their cruel and xenophobic policies.
“I am proud that Brooklyn’s own Attorney General Letitia James will bring the fight to the lame-duck Trump administration, and advocate on behalf of New Yorkers and everyone who makes this nation a gorgeous mosaic.”
Despite numerous losses in its efforts to politicize the 2020 Decennial Census, James told CMC that Trump is again seeking to violate “basic constitutional and statutory commands”.
In arguing before the US Supreme Court, James said the Trump administration must count the “whole number of persons” residing in the country for apportionment, “as the US Constitution and the Census Act unambiguously require”.
“President Trump’s illegal proclamation is the latest in a long list of anti-immigrant actions and statements he has made since the beginning of his first campaign,” she said. “The US Constitution and the Census Act are crystal clear: Every person residing in the US during the census, regardless of legal status, must be counted.
“And despite this lame-duck president’s repeated attempts to politicize the census and strip immigrant-rich states, like New York, of representation, the simple truth is that no one ceases to be a person because they lack documentation or ceases to live here because the president would prefer them to leave,” she added.
“That’s why we filed this lawsuit and numerous others like it before,” James continued. “We will continue to do whatever is necessary to stop the president from putting politics above the law.”