140+ Civil Rights Groups Call on Commerce Department to Strike Unnecessary Citizenship Question

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, along with 145 national, state, and local organizations today urged the Department of Commerce to drop the citizenship question from the 2020 Census form.

The groups write in part: “There is one constitutional purpose for the decennial census: to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states, based on an enumeration of the ‘whole number of persons in each state’ … With this fundamental, constitutional purpose in mind, we urge the Census Bureau, in the strongest possible terms, to remove the proposed citizenship question from the 2020 Census form. This question will unnecessarily and, perhaps significantly, increase the cost of the 2020 Census, while collecting data at the census block level for which there is no credible or widely-accepted evidence of utility.”

In addition to the joint comments, The Leadership Conference Education Fund (the sister organization of The Leadership Conference), National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC have launched a tool to facilitate participation in the public comment period on the questions proposed for the 2020 Census. The 60-day comment period, which ends on August 7, provides an opportunity to establish a strong, clear public record from a range of stakeholders who oppose the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

The joint comments from the groups are available here.

In addition, the following comments were submitted in opposition to the citizenship question (list last updated August 10, 2018).