Census citizenship question rally in New York City after Supreme Court ruling

LOWER MANHATTAN, New York City (WABC) -- New York State Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson joined immigration advocates at a victory rally Thursday after the Supreme Court put a hold on the Trump administration's effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The court said the Trump administration's explanation for wanting to add the question was "more of a distraction" than an explanation. The administration had cited the need to improve enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

It's unclear whether the administration would have time to provide a fuller account, but Trump has since called for a delay in the census. Forms are supposed to be printed beginning next week.

A lower court found the administration violated federal law in the way it tried to add a question broadly asking about citizenship for the first time since 1950.

The Census Bureau's own experts have predicted that millions of Hispanics and immigrants would go uncounted if the census asked everyone if they are an American citizen.

Additionally, a lower population count in New York would mean the state would get fewer federal tax dollars, fewer seats in Congress and fewer Electoral College votes.

Immigrant advocacy organizations and Democratic-led states, cities and counties argue the citizenship question is intended to discourage the participation of minorities, primarily Hispanics, who tend to support Democrats, from filling out census forms.

"The Supreme Court's decision to block the Trump Administration's inclusion of a citizenship question on the U.S. Census is an important win for our country and our state, which has always been a beacon of hope and acceptance for immigrants," Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. "This decision will help ensure each and every New Yorker will be counted and provided with the critical services they need and deserve, regardless of their immigration status. Shame on the Trump Administration for its attempt to make the U.S. Census a political pawn in their continued anti-immigrant agenda. No matter what hateful policies are imposed by this Administration in Washington, we will always stand up and ensure every New Yorker is counted."

The rally was held in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan.

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