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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced March 26 that a question on citizenship status would be added to the 2020 decennial Census, stirring a fierce backlash from immigrant community organizations and the states of California and New York, which immediately filed lawsuits. “The Trump administration is using the Census as a tool to drive a very divisive agenda and to create fear in the immigrant community,” Indian American Vedant Patel, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, told India-West. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Department of Commerce recently announced the decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 Census. Business leaders, community leaders and former Census directors have voiced opposition to this untested question.

A question on citizenship status would derail the 2020 Census, a constitutionally required count of every person living in the U.S. APIAVote’s mission is to make sure everyone is counted, whether it is about voting or the Census. APIAVote denounces this politically-driven question meant to jeopardize an accurate count of immigrant communities, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

A citizenship question would create a chilling effect on the completion rate of Census forms. There are strong protections on keeping Census responses confidential, but nonetheless Asian Americans who are noncitizens or in mixed-status families may fear how the government will use this information. It will cause people — out of fear — to avoid filling out the Census.

If our communities are undercounted, we will receive unequal representation in Congress and less resources on health care, education, housing and transportation.

We are working with civil rights groups and stakeholders to ensure the citizenship question is removed from the 2020 Census and that all communities are successfully counted.

Christine Chen

Executive Director,

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote

Via E-mail 

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