In response to Trump Administration’s memorandum to remove undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census apportionment count, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) and Philanthropy California issued the following statement:
“The memorandum is a brazen attempt to suppress fair and accurate representation by intimidating immigrants. This unconstitutional tactic seeks to scare immigrants away from completing census forms, just as the Census Bureau prepares to enumerate the hardest-to-count households: immigrants, Black and indigenous communities, and people of color.
If it were implementable, the proposal would have a devastating impact on states with a sizable undocumented immigrant population, particularly California, home to a quarter of the country’s undocumented immigrants. It would also impact their U.S. citizen family members, including children. And it would deepen longstanding inequities for immigrants and communities of color that have already been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. These disparities are the very issues our organizations, and our members are fighting.
A year ago, the Administration employed the same scare tactics and lost. The Supreme Court struck down this ploy to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
Once again, we will not be deterred from ensuring that everyone residing in the U.S. – regardless of immigration status – is counted. Ensuring an accurate count means full Congressional representation for states. It also translates into billions in critical funding for health clinics, emergency response services, and schools over the next ten years.
In California, philanthropy has mobilized over $26 million in the past two years to support non-partisan, non-political Census 2020 efforts. Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) has been overseeing the California Census 2020 Statewide Funders’ Initiative that strives to count the hard-to-count populations, as well as support a robust movement infrastructure to improve opportunities for historically marginalized Californians. Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers, and San Diego Grantmakers have been coordinating regional funder efforts. Our four organizations have also partnered with state and local government officials to coordinate and amplify our census efforts.
While our civil rights partners challenge this dubious memorandum in court, our philanthropic institutions will continue to defend our democratic values, uplift the voices of immigrants, and support organizations working to reach the hardest-to-count communities.”