230+ Civil Rights Organizations Urge Lawmakers to Save the 2030 Census and Reject H.R. 7109


Contact: Rachel Hooper, [email protected]

WASHINGTON — Meeta Anand, senior director of the census and data equity program at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement ahead of the House vote on H.R. 7109, the Equal Representation Act:

“We urge members of the House to respect the Constitution and vote ‘NO’ on H.R. 7109, the Equal Representation Act, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Edwards (R. N.C.). This bill would require the Census Bureau to ask about citizenship status in the decennial census and unconstitutionally narrow the 14th Amendment’s requirement to apportion seats in the House based on the whole number of ‘persons’ living in the United States to include only U.S. ‘citizens.’ Denying representation to all people living in the United States seeks to erase and undo the historic democratic purpose of the 14th Amendment and take us back to pre-Civil War days.

“We are disturbed that some House members would consider requiring an unnecessary question that would undermine the accuracy of the census in every community. Asking a citizenship question on the decennial census will create fear, increase nonresponse, and result in undercounts of millions of documented residents and citizens in mixed citizen status households, which include many families with children who are citizens. An inaccurate census will skew the fair distribution of federal resources for the next decade and deprive states, cities, and towns of needed resources.

“Lawmakers should also reject H.R. 7109 because it seeks to achieve a clearly unconstitutional purpose in narrowing the apportionment base and would put the accuracy of the constitutionally required decennial census at grave risk in every state and community. If lawmakers want to remove some of the resident population from the apportionment counts, they must amend the Constitution, which cannot be accomplished through a simple bill.”

In advance of floor consideration this week, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent a letter signed by 239 organizations to the full House in opposition to H.R. 7109.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 240 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 www.civilrights.org.