Congress Must Keep Unnecessary Citizenship Question Off 2020 Census

February 6, 2019

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398, [email protected]

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the introduction of the Census Improving Data and Enhanced Accuracy (IDEA) Act by Senator Brian Schatz. Similar legislation – H.R. 732 – was introduced in the House of Representatives last month:

“Congress has a constitutional responsibility to ensure a fair and accurate census, so that all communities receive their fair share of resources for schools, health centers, highways, and other vital services. This bill protects the integrity of the census by prohibiting the inclusion of any untested question, like the citizenship question, from being included in the 2020 Census. The Leadership Conference urges lawmakers to pass this bill quickly, to lift the cloud of uncertainty that is putting a successful census in jeopardy.”

Background: The IDEA Act would restore scientific integrity to the census process by requiring that the questionnaire all U.S. households must fill out be subject to robust research and testing. That means an unnecessary, untested citizenship question cannot be part of the 2020 Census.

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