What They Are Saying: Government Officials and Advocates Speak Out on the 2020 Census Citizenship Question

2020 Census News 03.28,18

This list was last updated on April 16, 2018.

Government official statements:

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.):  “This reckless question will undermine the accuracy and the legitimacy of Census data, which determines representation in Congress and the distribution of billions of dollars in federal aid. By leading to a misrepresentation of the number of New Yorkers, this question will jeopardize critical funding for New York’s health care, social services and other vital programs that benefit all New Yorkers.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla: “Innocuous at first blush, its effect would be truly insidious. It would discourage noncitizens and their citizen family members from responding to the census, resulting in a less accurate population count. Including a citizenship question on the 2020 census is not just a bad idea — it is illegal … This request is an extraordinary attempt by the Trump administration to hijack the 2020 census for political purposes. Since the first day of his presidential campaign and through his first year in office, President Trump has targeted immigrants: vilifying them and attempting to exclude them from the country. Think travel bans, repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, ramped up Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids that tear parents away from their children. Immigrants and their loved ones understandably are, and will be, concerned about how data collected in the 2020 Census will be used.”

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal: “Notwithstanding the Administration’s rhetoric, we don’t need a citizenship question on the 2020 census. And the reality is that such a question would only do harm. Particularly in the current national climate, a citizenship question will obviously cause great consternation and discourage participation in the census. That lack of participation will inevitably have far-reaching, negative effects – particularly in New Jersey, where we have the third largest percentage of immigrants in the country.”

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: “A fair and accurate count of all people in America is one of the federal government’s most solemn constitutional obligations. The Trump Administration’s reckless decision to suddenly abandon nearly 70 years of practice by demanding to know the citizenship status of each resident counted cuts to the heart of this sacred obligation – and will create an environment of fear and distrust in immigrant communities that would make impossible both an accurate Census and the fair distribution of federal tax dollars.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer: “Let’s call this like it is: the census, written about and hallowed in the Constitution, is being distorted by this administration for political purposes. President Trump and Secretary Ross should be ashamed of themselves.  Hopefully the courts will correct this glaring abuse.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: “To protect the strong, accurate and nonpartisan Census that our democracy and Constitution demand, the Congress must now immediately pass Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s 2020 Census Improving Data and Enhanced Accuracy Act.  Democrats will continue to fight the Trump Administration’s cynical efforts to compromise the integrity of this pillar of our democracy. To protect the strong, accurate and nonpartisan Census that our democracy and Constitution demand, the Congress must now immediately pass Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s 2020 Census Improving Data and Enhanced Accuracy Act.  Democrats will continue to fight the Trump Administration’s cynical efforts to compromise the integrity of this pillar of our democracy.”

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer: “The decennial Census has never been politicized and must not be now. This change will discourage participation and undermine trust in and the accuracy of the 2020 Census. Everyone counts in the Census, and any effort that undermines that is not in America’s best interest. Congress ought to take steps to overturn the Trump Administration’s effort to subvert the Census. Our nation needs to conduct an accurate count of all its residents in a fair and just manner, as we have done since the days of George Washington.”

Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.): “The 2020 Census count must be accurate, efficient & nonpartisan. Adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census questionnaire compromises each of these core goals. Proud to stand with @SenatorMenendez & @maziehirono to introduce bill preventing this.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee (D-Calif.): “An accurate count of everyone living in the United States is vital to our democracy. Adding a question designed to depress participation in certain communities is an assault on the foundations of this country. The census should not be a political football, used to depress responses from immigrant communities and target states like California. I’m committed to ensuring an accurate census in 2020 and will work with California’s leaders to have this citizenship question removed from the census.”

Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): The spirit of the census is that no one should go uncounted and no one should be invisible. By adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, this Administration is threatening its accuracy.

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “Adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census is this admin’s latest effort to cater to @realDonaldTrump anti-immigrant base & foment fear. We must pass my bill with @SenatorMenendez and @CoryBooker to ban this purely political question”

Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.): “The federal Census is NOT a tool to rally the President’s base. It’s a constitutionally mandated count of every single PERSON living in this country.  More important than ever to pass my bill to prevent this w/ @CoryBooker @maziehirono & many @SenateDems”

Representative Judy Chu (D-Calif.): “I’m incredibly concerned by the inclusion of an untested citizenship question whose sole impact will be to suppress participation in the 2020 census. The census is essential for ensuring fair and accurate representation and distribution of government resources. But by including a question on citizenship, which is not required by the Constitution, the Trump Administration is exploiting the fear of immigrant communities who are already reticent to divulge personal information to the federal government. The census is not about who should be in the country. It’s about understanding who is currently in the country and it should not be treated as just another weapon in Trump’s anti-immigrant arsenal. It’s too important for our schools, roads, hospitals, and communities that we have an accurate reporting. It’s also concerning that this question was apparently rushed into the census, without undergoing the usual testing that other questions do. Suppression of responses risks California being undercounted in the census, costing the country’s most-populous state a seat in Congress. I’m encouraged by Attorney General Becerra’s legal challenge and I hope to see this problematic question struck from the census before it can distort our representative government into one that ignores immigrants and communities of color.”

Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (D-Md.): “People across the country—including in red, blue, and purple states—need to understand that if their communities are undercounted, they could lose critical funds for highways, education, healthcare, and an array of other federal programs.  The Trump Administration’s plan to insert a new, untested question on citizenship will increase costs for American taxpayers and decrease the accuracy of the census itself.  I personally spoke with Secretary Ross about this issue, and I am very disappointed that he appears to be disregarding the views of Republican and Democratic experts—including six former Census Directors—and is instead rushing ahead with a politically-motivated decision that will jeopardize the full, fair, and accurate count our Constitution demands.”

Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.): “Make no mistake: The addition of a citizenship question in the Census is intended to intimidate our immigrant friends and neighbors from participating, which will lead to an inaccurate count… The consequences of an undercount in the next census will have a serious negative impact on every individual, citizen or not, in our country. Without an accurate count of everyone in this country, we cannot ensure the government fairly distributes funding to schools, or adequately funds plans for natural disasters or the outbreak of epidemics. Cities across the country will not be able to fund fire and police departments to ensure our homes and communities are safe. It would become close to impossible to enforce civil rights protections for fair housing or equal employment.”

Representative Grace Meng (D-N.Y.): “The decision to add this question without any testing at this late stage is deeply troubling and reckless. Asking respondents if they are citizens will likely decrease response rates in immigrant communities, and as a result produce an inaccurate and incomplete count that will impact the distribution of federal resources, and the number of Congressional districts that each state receives. Many immigrants who are fearful of deportation under the current Administration will simply choose to not participate in the census out of fear that the information they provide will be used against them. Last week, I expressed my concerns to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross when he testified before the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. But unfortunately, the secretary decided to add this misguided question. I am deeply disappointed with Secretary Ross, and I will now look to introduce legislation to stop this question from being included on the census.”

Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, co-chair of the House Census Caucus (D-N.Y.): “This decision by Secretary Ross to add a last-minute citizenship question will cripple the 2020 Census and lead to an incomplete and unfair count of all people living in our country. This is a deliberate effort to politicize the census for partisan gains that violates the standards set forth in the Constitution mandating an accurate count of the nation. Congress should block this action by passing the Census IDEA Act, which I introduced last week. We cannot accept an incomplete or unfair count in 2020 — too much is at stake. The census, mandated by the Constitution, affects the way federal and state funds are distributed and district lines are drawn, and helps businesses grow and non-profits better serve their communities.  Republicans need to join with Democrats to protect the integrity of the 2020 Census.”

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee (D-N.Y.): “The Administration is now ironically claiming that an inquiry around immigration status for the 2020 census is under the pretext of voting rights enforcement.  This claim is laughable coming from an Administration with a record of blatant disregard and continuous rolling back of civil rights enforcement. Given this Administration’s zeal for anti-immigration enforcement, asking for citizenship information will frighten many immigrants from answering the census, and is guaranteed—and intended—to produce a census not counting a large part of the immigrant population, thus skewing the census against areas, like cities, with large immigrant populations.”

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.): “The purpose of the census is simple: collecting appropriate data on the people that reside in our communities so that we can distribute federal resources for the needs of the population. Any question, including one regarding citizenship, that could in any way discourage an accurate count, must be omitted. The census is not a means to do an immigration head count. It is a means to help all of our constituents with their needs regardless of their immigration status.”

Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.): “The Census’s new citizenship question is another shameful Trump assault on our democracy.  It will undoubtedly drive down Census participation, and cost our neighborhoods federal funds and seats in Congress.  Trump is worried about losing power, so he’s trying to take power away from our communities.”

Representative Adam Schiff, Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee (D-Calif.): “Asking about immigration status is a transparent attempt to discourage immigrants from responding, and reduce representation in states with large immigrant populations. This violates the Constitution and the government’s responsibility to conduct an accurate census”

New York State Senator Kevin Parker: “Communities of color, especially immigrant communities, historically struggle to count all of its residents as distrust in government and fear of deportation makes participation in the decennial enumeration undesirable for many who live there.  Instead of working to strengthen public trust in our government, the current presidential administration has decided to exacerbate the situation to ensure an undercount in Black and Brown communities.”

Organization statements:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: “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.”

American Statistical Association: “The American Statistical Association (ASA) leadership is profoundly disappointed with the decision of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Nonetheless, we remain committed to doing our part to support a fair and accurate census. We echo ASA President Lisa LaVange’s January letter to Secretary Ross: ‘We strongly caution against adding this or any other question at this late stage of the process … [and we] believe there is very strong potential the quality of the census will be undermined.’”

American Federation of Teachers: “A citizenship status question will have a chilling effect on census participation and will re-create the long shadows that noncitizens will once again move into. That hurts the economy and hamstrings local and state services, which sadly seems to be what this White House wants. But a nation built by immigrants should welcome the engagement of those in pursuit of the American dream, not kick the ladder out from under them.”

Arab American Institute: “By abandoning the intensively researched combined-question format and MENA category, failing to fill leadership roles at the Census Bureau with qualified candidates, underfunding the Census Bureau, and now including an intrusive and untested question that will no doubt deter many from responding – this administration has jeopardized one of the foundational practices of our nation, choosing to play politics over allowing for a fair and accurate count. The census is not simply an academic exercise. An undercount as a result of these decisions and the politicization of the process will have real, harmful consequences for communities across the country that stand to lose representation and funding.”

Asian Americans Advancing Justice: “The decision by Secretary Wilbur Ross to add a citizenship question for the 2020 Census is untimely, unnecessary, and unwise. A citizenship question is likely have a devastating impact on obtaining an accurate count for communities like Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We call on Congress to reverse this misguided and unnecessary addition to the Census. This question will have a chilling and negative impact on those who may already fear participating in the Census.”

Bend the Arc Jewish Action: “The addition of a citizenship status question to the 2020 Census by the Trump Administration is a deeply cynical, political act that falls perfectly in line with this Administration’s pattern of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-refugee policies. The Administration’s assertion that the question is intended to help them enforce the Voting Rights Act is beyond absurd — this coming from an executive branch that has done everything in its power to make it harder for Americans to vote and has spread dangerous lies about the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election.”

Brennan Center for Justice: “Our Constitution requires a complete and accurate count of everyone living in the country, no matter her or his citizenship status. The administration’s decision to add a citizenship question is at best a dramatic misstep, and at worst a politically-motivated move that will undermine a fair and accurate census. Experts and census professionals agree that a new citizenship question will seriously cut participation in the process, particularly by immigrant and mixed-status households, fundamentally warping the national headcount.

Census Policy Advocacy Network: “The Census Policy Advocacy Network vows to fight Secretary Ross’ recent decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Adding such a major, untested question will undoubtedly suppress resident participation in California, leading to an inaccurate population count and unreliable demographic data that will adversely affect distribution of resources, especially for hard-to-count populations.”

Center for American Progress: “The decennial census is meant to ensure that every person is seen, counted, and valued. The addition of a citizenship question to the upcoming census is yet another means for the Trump administration to carry out its anti-immigrant, xenophobic agenda. A failure to comply with the U.S. Constitution and gather an accurate count of all persons living in the United States jeopardizes fair representation and adequate resources to our communities across the country.”

Child Trends: “An accurate, non-biased census count is essential to ensuring fair funding for programs that support the health and safety of our children. The decision to include a question about citizenship threatens our ability to gain an accurate picture of our nation, especially when it comes to our children and families. The census maps the diversity of our country by age, race and ethnicity, geography, household structure, and income. We should not chart our children’s future with an incomplete and inaccurate map.”

Chinese-American Planning Council: “The inclusion of a citizenship status question in the 2020 Census will have a chilling effect for immigrant communities and communities of color. This will have negative, long-term effects on not only the communities we serve but also all New Yorkers. We urge the Congress to pass legislation to remove the citizenship status question and ensure our state has proper electoral representation and federal resources.”

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights: “There is absolutely no reason why this question would be useful to the U.S. other than to discourage large numbers of community members from participating in the process and therefore diminishing their electoral power and funding allocations.  The constitution is clear:  immigrants count in America.”

Common Cause: “This is an attempt to racially rig the census and undercount communities of color, and goes against the fair representation our democracy relies on. An accurate Census is essential in the redrawing of our congressional and legislative districts and budgeting decisions that impact our schools, hospitals, roads, and veterans. By adding the citizenship question, the Trump administration is threatening the accuracy of data we use as nation to make essential decisions about our children’s future.”

Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA):This decision circumvents the Census Bureau’s routine research and testing processes to ensure potential questions do not affect the quality of responses and could compromise one of the most valuable data resources the government produces.”

Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS): “It is highly risky to ask untested questions in the context of the complete 2020 Census design. There is a great deal of evidence that even minor changes in survey question order, wording, and instructions can have significant, and often unexpected, consequences for the rate, quality, and truthfulness of response. The effect of adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census on data quality and census accuracy, therefore, is completely unknown. Adding an untested question on citizenship status at this late point in the decennial planning process would put the accuracy of the enumeration and success of the census in all communities at grave risk.”

Define American: “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.”

Fair Immigration Reform Movement: “The ramifications of adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census is extremely anti-immigrant and intended to deter millions of immigrants from participating for fear of being targeted by this administration. If there is any question of just how radical this effort is, consider that every census since the first enumeration in 1790 included people living in the United States, citizens and non-citizens alike.”

Faith in Public Life: “As a person of faith, I believe everyone counts in God’s eyes, and everyone should count in the eyes of our government. This discriminatory change makes it harder for the 2020 Census to do that. If Congress does not act to fix this problem, the impact on the census, on Congressional representation, and on our communities will be devastating.”

Hispanic Federation: “As part of its continuing assault of immigrants in America, the Trump administration has now decided to weaponize the U.S. Census by asking respondents a question about their citizenship status. For more than five decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has avoided this question because of the ramifications it will certainly have on the accuracy of the nation’s population count. Indeed, a host of experts, advocates, and civic leaders have warned this administration that adding a last-minute, untested question on citizenship could, essentially, deprive the government, and all who depend on census data, of an accurate portrait of the U.S. population. Despite these warnings, the administration has effectively created a situation where immigrants, both documented and undocumented, will be less likely to participate in the census thus undermining its reliability.”

The Insights Association: “Without testing and with fewer respondents, the decennial headcount likely will be less accurate, less valuable and unnecessarily expensive. To ensure accuracy, the census requires the highest possible representation of our population. Every subsequent survey and study that intends to be statistically representative of the U.S. population will be built on decennial data, and any inaccuracies will be felt for at least a decade.”

Japanese American Citizens League: “The chilling effect on a full and accurate count cannot be accepted. The government has a constitutional mandate to conduct a true and accurate count. The impacts of an inaccurate count are numerous from apportionment of government resources and representation to the public utility of census data for public policy and business planning. We cannot afford to have an inaccurate count. We urge Congress to act quickly to overturn this decision and block the addition of a citizenship question to the census.”

Latino Community Foundation: “If the Trump administration thinks thinly veiled anti-immigrant politics puts our state and Latino residents on notice, it should be aware that we are putting them on notice and will not stand for blatant, politically charged decisions to undermine the constitutional purpose the Census. Every single person of every single ethnicity must be counted in the 2020 Census. The House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform must act and reject this decision.”

League of United Latin American Citizens: “The Trump Administration’s decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census will lead to systematically undercounting specific groups. This is a political intimidation tactic that furthers Trump’s xenophobic and anti-immigrant policy agenda and will lead to certain states losing funding, resources and representation. It is a direct attack a on our democracy and plays upon the fears of communities of color. By adding a citizenship question, the Administration aims to reduce census participation and undermine the accuracy of the census count. We must not allow this anti-immigrant agenda to further threaten marginalized communities.”

League of Women Voters: “Make no mistake: this decision isn’t about improving demographic data on citizenship. It’s designed to frighten immigrants—citizens and noncitizens alike—so they won’t participate in the Census. It’s a blatant political maneuver meant to disenfranchise these groups and deny them equal representation. So Secretary Ross’ claim that this question helps enforce the Voting Rights Act is preposterous. Indeed, including this question on the Census undermines the rights of eligible voters and threatens a process vital to our democracy.”

Make the Road New York:  “By acting to include a question that seeks to intimidate immigrants and working-class people of color, Secretary Ross has demonstrated his willingness to allow Donald Trump’s attacks on our communities to infect the hallowed census process. Asking about citizenship status in the 2020 Census will put the whole process at risk by deterring many from participating, and consequently depriving communities of the representation and resources they so desperately need.  This is a reckless act that will undermine a full and accurate count and put communities across our state and nation in jeopardy.”

MALDEF: “Over the years, presidential administrations of both parties have administered the Census scientifically and moderately, refusing to politicize a sacred constitutional mandate that goes back to our nation’s beginning. Yesterday, the Trump administration ended that tradition, opting to politicize the decennial enumeration of all persons by precipitously adding an unnecessary citizenship question in the clear hope of reducing the count of Latinos, the nation’s largest minority group.”

Mi Familia Vota: “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.”

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund: “The decision to include a question about citizenship status on the 2020 Census is the absolute wrong move and greatly interferes with the Census Bureau’s obligation to conduct a fair and accurate Census count. In this xenophobic and racist climate, the addition of this untimely, unnecessary, and fiscally wasteful question will reasonably cause widespread fear in communities of color to engage with the Census Bureau around the count, likely leading people to avoid the Census completely. This will be to the detriment of us all. Even prior to this decision, there has been a historic undercount of Black people and other people of color around decennial counts that the Census Bureau should be spending its time fixing — for example with adequate funding and non-partisan leadership — rather than exacerbating as with this decision.”

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO): “In yet another assault on immigrants, Latinos and the 2020 Census, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Trump Administration today chose to put politics above the interests of the American people.  By deciding to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census at the 11th hour, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has further undermined the integrity of one of the most preeminent scientific agencies in the world, further jeopardizing the accuracy of the 2020 Census and wasting millions of taxpayer dollars in the process.”

National Association of Social Workers: Including “citizenship” as one of the questions on the 2020 Census questionnaire is extremely worrisome. Specifically, adding this question has major implications for immigrant communities and for the integrity of the fair allocation of Congressional representation. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) strongly disagrees with the proposed addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans: “While the citizenship question to be included in the Census is untested, its intentions are far from unclear. Despite broad opposition from a wide range of stakeholders, including the business community, the Administration has chosen its anti-immigrant platform over the integrity of American civic engagement. The Administration will claim that the inclusion of a citizenship question has precedent; however, they know full well that to include a new variable that has been absent for a generation, is effectively introducing an untested element that many participants will have never seen in the Census.”

National Hispanic Leadership Agenda: “The Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question is pure politics. Their aim is to drive down the number of Latinos participating in the census, so that our communities are deprived of the political representation and federal resources we deserve. An accurate census is too important for our democracy to let the Trump administration get away with this. We call on Congress to reverse the Trump administration’s decision and we will support any legal avenues to block it.”

National Urban League: “If this were any other administration the inclusion of a citizenship status question would likely seem benign.  However, the Trump administration has repeatedly proposed xenophobic and racist policies–and its handling of the Census appears to be no different. It is intentionally politicizing the decennial Census by using it as a tool to intimidate undocumented immigrants from completing the questionnaire, siphon government resources from communities of color, and undermine the assurance of congressional representation.”

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates: “Census data is the crux of how monetary resources are allocated to communities; it decides how many congressional representatives represent states. The inclusion of this question further prevents individuals from underserved communities from completing the form. This citizenship question is unnecessary and we implore Congress to put a stop to this misguided policy.”

People for the American Way: “Secretary Ross’s decision to include a question that will cause participation in the 2020 census to drop is dangerous and irresponsible—it’s more destructive political hardball from a party that has shown it cares far more about holding onto power than about protecting the American institutions that undergird our democracy. Especially in the toxic political atmosphere created by Donald Trump and his allies, asking people about their immigration status will unquestionably make millions of individuals less likely to respond to the census. It will raise deep concerns about the confidentiality of the personal information that families are handing over to the census bureau, and it’s an attack on immigrant communities all across the country. We will use every available tool to ensure that the Census Bureau can conduct an accurate count. Congress has the power to fix this problem, and we urge lawmakers to act.”

Planned Parenthood Federation of America: “Adding a question to the 2020 Census about citizenship status is discriminatory. People’s health and political power depend on the census being conducted in a way that provides the highest quality and most accurate representation of all our communities. Immigrant communities continue to be attacked by this administration. This citizenship question targets and intimidates immigrant communities, and will lead to fewer people being counted and fewer people being able to access the services they need. At Planned Parenthood, we believe that no one’s access to services should be compromised because they belong to an immigrant family or community. We commit to fighting alongside our community and partners to call out this injustice and call on U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to reverse this decision.”

Population Association of America: “To that end, the Population Association of America (PAA) opposes the Trump Administration’s decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. As scientists, our members are concerned about the negative effect an untested citizenship question would have on decennial census response rates and, ultimately, the validity of the decennial data. Based on the experience of other surveys, population scientists have observed that responses to citizenship questions tend to be of low quality.. We urge the Administration to reconsider its decision and to work with PAA and other census stakeholders to ensure the 2020 Census is conducted accurately, inclusively, and cost effectively.”

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism: “We strongly condemn the Department of Commerce’s decision to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census. At a time when America’s immigrant communities feel increasingly threatened, the effects of this decision are not hard to foresee: Census response rates from immigrant communities will be suppressed, undermining the Census’s integrity overall.”

Service Employees International Union (SEIU): “Secretary Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census is a partisan attempt to weaken the voices of working families,”

Sister Simone (NETWORK Lobby): “The Constitution mandates few activities, but it does mandate a complete census every ten years. A citizenship question in the 2020 Census undermines this work. It will undoubtedly sow fear and intimidate our immigrant neighbors and residents of the United States, who under the Constitution should be counted. We know that it will negatively impact hard to count communities. We know that children are already disproportionately undercounted, and the implementation of a citizenship question will make matters worse.”

State Voices: “The citizenship question will raise concerns in all households—regardless of current citizenship status—about the confidentiality of Census responses and how that information may be used, leading to a significant undercount. State Voices’ commitment to equity leads us to call on Congress to fix this untested and unwarranted assault on an accurate Census.”

UNIDOS US: “It is clear that there is no positive policy purpose or reasonable justification for this decision. The consequences, though, of seeking to sabotage the Census less than two years before it takes place are enormous not only for our community, but for our country. If the administration succeeds in its ploy, millions of Americans will be disenfranchised and the health and education of our children will be undermined. This is why there is overwhelming bipartisan outrage over this decision, including from the heads of the Census Bureau in previous administrations on both sides of the aisle.”

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: “The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) opposes the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 United States Census. Though we support efforts by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to better enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we do not believe that a citizenship question on the census will have this effect. On the contrary, it will likely discourage immigrants from participating in the census regardless of legal status. Under-representation of any group on the census will result in inadequate funding for education, infrastructure, healthcare, and more. Excluding the citizenship question from the census is in the interest of all U.S. residents, citizens and non-citizens alike.”

United We Dream: “This move is a blatant attempt to rig the books to benefit Republican politicians by undercounting immigrants. Questioning the citizenship of US residents on the census will keep many from filling out the census. Because of Trump’s track record, many fear that Trump’s deportation agents may use the data to hunt down our people and put us in detention camps. The immigrant youth of United We Dream are continuing to organize in their communities to ensure that we are counted and that every voice, regardless of immigration status, in this country is heard.”