Amicus Brief of NCAI in Census Case

Here is the National Congress of American Indians’ (“NCAI”) Amicus Brief in Trump v. New York, which is being argued today and addresses whether unauthorized immigrants should now be excluded from the Census count.

From the brief:

Multiple amici argue, in effect, that unauthorized immigrants are not “persons” to be counted for purposes of apportionment. Because the United States once tried to argue that American Indians were not “persons” under the law, amicus NCAI is compelled to refute these arguments.


These arguments are inconsistent with the Constitution’s text and history. Worse still, in a nation where “all persons are created equal,” Matthews v. Lucas, 427 U.S. 495, 516 (1976) (Stevens, J., dissenting), see also Declaration of Independence ¶ 2 (“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. . . .”), these attempts to deny the very personhood of unauthorized immigrants are morally bankrupt.

“2020 Census: National Congress of American Indians Representatives”


In this video representatives at the National Congress of American Indians talk about the importance of being counted and what it means to participate in the 2020 Census.

To fill out the 2020 Census online, start here.

2020 Census Questions on Race Handout here.

Databook of the US Censuses and the American Community Survey 1990 – 2010

Randall K.Q. Akee & Jonathan B. Taylor have published “Social and Economic Change on American Indian Reservations: A Databook of the US Censuses and the American Community Survey 1990 – 2010.”

An excerpt from the summary:

The fortunes of Indians on reservations continue to lag those of other racial and ethnic groups tracked by the census in the United States. The per capita income of Indians on reservations, for example, has been less than half the US average, consistently falling far below that of Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Indians living elsewhere. Nonetheless, in recent decades, tribes have made progress in income growth and other measures. This databook—research made possible with funding from the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming—documents how and where change has taken place.

Article about Chicago’s Urban Indian Community

In the Trib, which requires a free (but annoying) registration. Here.

There’s an interesting discussion on identity and the census:

Thirty years ago, there were more than 20 American Indian organizations in the city, said Dorene Wiese, president of the American Indian Association of Illinois. Now there are three. Since the recession began, their budgets have been slashed by the city and the federal government, leaving most day-to-day functions to volunteers.

At the same time, community activists said, American Indians have struggled disproportionately with poverty, unemployment and a staggering high school dropout rate. More than 27 percent of American Indians in Chicago have incomes below the poverty level, slightly less than African-Americans but more than other minority groups.

Wiese said the economic condition of American Indians is more dire than the 2010 census indicates, largely because she believes the figures are skewed. The census form allows anyone to identify themselves as American Indian, whether they have official tribal papers or not, she said. Without those who identified themselves as mixed race, the number of American Indians in Chicago would be cut in half, to just over 13,337, the census shows.