Washington D.C. – The Commerce Secretary announced on Monday, March 26th, the inclusion of an untested question on citizenship status in his 2020 Census submission to Congress. Our Executive Director, Ryan Eller, issued the following statement:
“The Census should be an opportunity for all Americans, documented and undocumented, to stand up and be counted. Asking participants about their citizenship goes against the Census’ stated mission to ‘serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy, [honoring] privacy, protect confidentiality.”
Let us be clear, adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census wouldn’t just affect the response rate of undocumented individuals, it will also affect mixed-status families, or families with undocumented members. And, this is all happening in a year when the digital nature of the census creates participation barriers in rural and poor communities.
If folks are fearful that this data is going to be misused they just won’t participate. This question is also unnecessarily expensive, and possibly illegal. It’s definitely anti-immigrant, myopic, and yet again plays politics with a process that should be above political corruption.”