Muslim Advocates Opposes Unnecessary, Discriminatory Citizenship Question on 2020 Census

WASHINGTON, DC — Muslim Advocates joined an amicus brief filed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urging the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent the addition of a question about citizenship status to the 2020 census. This unnecessary, illegal addition is an obvious attempt by the Trump Administration to intimidate minority communities and further diminish their voice in the public sphere.

Adding a citizenship question would primarily prevent noncitizens from participating in the 2020 census, leading to an undercount of immigrant and minority groups. This, in turn, would leave them out of demographic data used to make critical political determinations such as the distribution of federal resources and representation in electoral politics. The addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census also defies over half a century of precedent, violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection and fails to achieve a constructive policy purpose beyond restricting the civil rights of vulnerable minority communities.

Muslim Advocates has vigorously opposed the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, including by submitting a public comment to the U.S. Commerce Department and by co-authoring and filing amicus briefs in several lower courts.

“The same administration that created the Muslim Ban and the fake crisis at the southern border is now also trying to illegally weaponize the 2020 census to further target immigrants and communities of color,” said Sirine Shebaya, interim legal director of Muslim Advocates. “We urge the Supreme Court to shut down this destructive, cynical political ploy that runs so clearly counter to the constitutional command to count ‘all persons.’”

Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.