Conn. immigrant rights groups say damage already done

Connecticut

(WTNH) — President Donald Trump is calling today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision stopping the ‘census citizenship question’ “totally ridiculous.” Immigrant rights organizations here in Connecticut are hailing the decision but say the battle isn’t over and much damage has already been done.

An accurate census count every ten years is required by the U.S. Constitution. It helps determine representation in congress and how much
money the federal government sends back to Connecticut.

It is widely known that there are thousands of immigrants, both legal and illegal, living and working in Connecticut. One estimate places the immigrant population at about half a million. About half of them are naturalized U.S. citizens. It is also estimated that the undocumented immigrant population is over 100,000 concentrated mostly in New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport and Waterbury.

Julio Rivera, the NALEO Census Manager for Connecticut saying,

“The damage has been done already just with conversation that’s been going on around along with the citizenship question. There’s been fear that’s been struck into communities.”

Julio Rivera

Organizations of the Connecticut Complete Count
Census committee say that while today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for now, the fact that the justices sent the issue back to the federal district court in New York means the battle to stop the citizenship question is not over.

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (D-Connecticut) is co chair of the Connecticut Complete Count Committee and calls the citizenship question effort “A deliberate attempt to drive down response rates, particularly in immigrant communities and communities of color.” Attorney General William Tong (D-Connecticut) adding, “People are really afraid that their lives are just going to get blown up because of what they see everyday.”

Because of that, organizers of today’s event believe that a major portion of the Connecticut population will not be counted in the census even though the Attorney General thinks the administration will lose when the case is reviewed. Tong adding, “The argument they offered in the first instance was made up and now they got to go back and make it up again and I think it’s going to be hard for them to convince a judge that they’re not making it up on the second go around.”

Attorney General Tong is part of this case because Connecticut is one of the states that joined with New York to challenge the Trump administration’s attempt to place the citizenship question on census forms and online next year.

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