Los Angeles, CA. – The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) proudly applauds its long-time coalition partner, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), Thomas A. Saenz, its president and general counsel, and his great MALDEF team for successfully challenging and blocking President Trump’s repeated attempts to unconstitutionally add a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

President Trump and Atty. Gen. William Barr at an event in the White House Rose Garden at which Trump announced the government would give up its effort to add a question about citizenship to the census. (Olivier Douliery / TNS)

Although President Trump insisted he was not “backing down” during a White House press conference in the Rose Garden yesterday, he essentially conceded his defeat after a 19-month battle to intentionally undercount Latinos and other immigrants from participating in the decennial survey.

Instead, Trump announced plans to sign an executive order directing Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration, and other federal agencies to share records with the Census Bureau to allow them to develop estimates as to how many undocumented immigrants are in the U.S., something most agencies already do.

Alex Nogales, president and CEO of National Hispanic Media Coalition, released the following statement:

“A huge congratulations to Tom Saenz, MALDEF, and to the many other civil rights organizations who fought against President Trump’s attempts to add a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

“But let us not kid ourselves. Regardless of conceding, Trump continues to damage our community. His executive order has the effect of having Latinos afraid to participate in the census because of fear of having all the departments report who is here without documentation, and by his mass, nationwide raids by ICE, arresting and deporting thousands of undocumented immigrants, which are set to begin this weekend.

“These are calculated, political moves by Trump whose primary objective is to ensure there will be a severe undercount of the immigrant and particularly the Spanish-speaking population, which will undermine the disbursement of federal funds to these communities, and potentially change districts from Democrat to Republican, ensuring his re-election.

“Trump is a hate monger, and we as a community must continue to aggressively push back against his dehumanization and his cold-blooded zero-tolerance policy that is separating thousands of families and is causing a health and humanitarian crisis at the border.

“Our community, along with our civil rights allies, must and will step up and be on the ground, supporting our immigrant brothers and sisters, and not allowing them to remain a permanent underclass deprived of any rights, dignity and respect.”

Read a timeline of MALDEF’s census litigation here.

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