“This change to the census is clearly aimed at reducing immigrant communities’ participation in the census and will lead to slashed federal funding to programs vital to immigrant families in my district and across the nation,” Kalish said. “The proposed change is just another xenophobic and racist attack that immigrant communities have consistently faced under the Trump administration.”
On Monday, Kalish joined elected officials and local governments across the nation—including the Village of Skokie—to file a “friend of the court” brief in support of plaintiffs in Department of Commerce v. New York, currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, which addresses the important issue of whether a citizenship question should be added to the 2020 census. The brief urges the Supreme Court to affirm the decision of a lower court and reject the addition of a citizenship question.
Kalish believes that the addition of a citizenship question will significantly impair the accuracy of the census and greatly diminish participation rates amongst immigrant communities. As a result, hundreds of millions of dollars will be diverted away from vital programs in immigrant communities that support public education, nutrition, health care, victims of crime, community development, rehabilitation centers and unemployment insurance. The Trump administration’s move could also ultimately cause states with large minority populations like Illinois to lose representation in Congress and the Electoral College, which are based on census results.
“We cannot accept this hateful, new rule that is clearly aimed at harming immigrant communities and those who stand with them,” Kalish said. “I will continue to do everything I can to stand up for immigrant families, from opposing the citizenship question to backing pro-immigrant reforms in Springfield.”