Earlier this year, the U.S. Commerce Department made the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. AAFE is part of a broad-based coalition advocating against this misguided directive, which if implemented, would undermine the accuracy of the Census and harm the communities we serve.
AAFE Co-Executive Directors Jennifer Sun and Thomas Yu said, “The U.S. Constitution requires our government to count each and every person. There is no doubt that the inclusion of this question will depress Census participation in immigrant communities, and lead to a seriously flawed 2020 count. The results would be catastrophic, with Congressional redistricting, public funding levels and the very integrity of the U.S. Census Bureau on the line. For the sake of our communities and our country, we urge the removal of the citizenship question from the Census form.”
In 2010, AAFE partnered with the Census Bureau to boost participation in “hard to count” neighborhoods where both language and cultural differences make it more difficult to survey local communities. From our past experiences going door to door, we know how challenging it can be to overcome these issues. Inclusion of the citizenship question in 2020 would undoubtedly raise privacy concerns, create more fear in our communities and drive down participation in the upcoming Census. In the current political climate, immigrants are under siege across our country. Reversing this decision would help assure an accurate Census, and preserve one of the foundations of our democratic government.
AAFE has submitted a public comment to the federal government detailing our key concerns about this troubling decision. You can read it in full below.