Atlanta, Georgia, March 27, 2018 — On Monday night, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it would include a question on citizenship in the upcoming 2020 Census.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a national affiliation of five civil rights organizations, releases the following statement:
“Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) finds the inclusion of a citizenship question on the upcoming decennial Census deeply troubling. The Constitution mandates that all people in the U.S. must be counted, not just citizens. Immigrants and citizens who have immigrants in their household will be reluctant to participate in a census that asks about citizenship. A question regarding citizenship on the decennial census has not been asked in the past 70 years, and no basis has been provided for adding it now.
A complete Census count every ten years helps to inform our changing country, showing growth and trends for all 50 states. The Census and American Community Survey data shows that the Asian American population grew faster than any other racial group in the U.S. with a 46 percent increase between 2000 and 2010. Asian Americans and communities of color are part of the fabric of the United States. The administration is trying to sabotage the 2020 Census with the addition of a citizenship question that it knows will chill participation by communities that the administration seeks to marginalize.
Without an accurate count, valuable dollars that support immigrant and other communities of color may be lost. Minority communities will not be represented and served in the manner in which they are entitled in Congress.
Advancing Justice calls upon the Department of Commerce and the Census Bureau to reverse their decision and remove the citizenship question immediately before more confusion is caused within our communities. We also call upon Congress to act if the Census Bureau will not reverse its decision. Advancing Justice will fight the addition of this citizenship question, consider our legal options, and support lawsuits against the Department that protect our communities.”