Secretary Ross Approves Ill-Advised Census Citizenship Question

Census Stakeholders to Fight to Save 2020 Census 

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the Commerce Secretary included an untested question on citizenship status in his 2020 Census questions submission to Congress:

“This was the wrong decision. Despite overwhelming bipartisan and multi-sector opposition, Secretary Ross capitulated to President Trump and Attorney General Sessions. This untimely, unnecessary, and untested citizenship question will disrupt planning at a critical point, undermine years of painstaking preparation, and increase costs significantly, putting a successful, accurate count at risk. The question is unnecessarily intrusive and will raise concerns in all households – native- and foreign-born, citizen and non-citizen – about the confidentiality of information provided to the government and how government authorities may use that information.

“We will work with our coalition, the business community, bipartisan state and local officials, and other civic leaders to overturn this ill-advised decision. Adding this question will result in a bad census – deeply flawed population data that will skew public and private sector decisions to ensure equal representation, allocate government resources, and anticipate economic growth opportunities – for the next 10 years. The stakes are too high to allow this. We urge Congress to overturn this error in judgment.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit