Trump Administration Politicizes 2020 Census, Threatening Undercount

03.27.2018

For Immediate Release
March 27, 2018
Contact: Karina Martínez | karinam@mifamiliavota.org | 858/752-1262

Trump Administration Politicizes 2020 Census, Threatening Undercount

The Department of Commerce will reinstate a citizenship status question on the 2020 census, menacing immigrant communities and census credibility

Washington D.C. – The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the 2020 Census will include a citizenship status question, following a request from the Trump administration. The Census Bureau had been using scientific measures to best capture the data required to analyze progress and disparities among populations, and to determine federal funding. A citizenship question could obstruct a true count of the nation’s residents by discouraging immigrant families from responding to the census. A population undercount has lasting consequences including a loss of federal funding where people are not counted and lack of representation in Congress.

Ben Monterroso, Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota issued the following statement:

“The Census needs to accurately reflect our population so that we can make the changes that we need in our communities. The President cannot demonize immigrants, threaten them with deportations and family separation, and then expect them to trust the government by disclosing sensitive information on a Census form. Adding a citizenship question may deter participation from immigrant households, that are largely in poor neighborhoods, thus cutting even further from these communities the scant funds they receive. Agencies and officials in all fields need to have accurate data to best analyze critical issues that our communities face. This has lasting impacts on everything from our health to our education, and even on legislative redistricting.  This hurts us at a local level, and it’s damaging to who we are as a country.

“There are several ways residents can help change the outcome of the Census questionnaire including providing public comment and asking elected officials to intervene through lawsuits and legislation. Furthermore, the Secretary of Commerce will be forced to justify the citizenship question since the addition was made after the census questionnaire deadline.

“We are proud that our communities are rising up against the whimsies of the Trump administration; California has already taken the initiative, through litigation, to ensure that immigrant communities are fairly represented and funded. We expect to see our communities continue to get educated on these issues and take the appropriate measures to defend themselves.

“Our best response will be to elect officials who represent our values, to make our presence felt at the ballot box. We have the political power to make the changes that we want to see, we just need to be strategic and use it.”

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Mi Familia Vota is a national civic engagement organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through citizenship workshops, voter registration, and voter participation. Mi Familia Vota has operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas