The Diverse Elders Coalition opposes the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census

July 23, 2018

Dear Secretary Ross,

The Diverse Elders Coalition, a national advocacy organization working to advance policies that improve aging in communities of color, American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and LGBT communities, opposes the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census.

The purpose of the U.S. Census is to provide an accurate population assessment of the people living in the United States. It is our communities’ once-in-a-decade opportunity to be counted, and the results of the Census determine our representation in government and drive programs and services at the Federal, State, and local levels.

At a time when immigrant communities in the United States are being torn apart, the inclusion of a citizenship question will create more fear and confusion among people who are already incredibly vulnerable. The administration was advised by the Census Bureau’s professional staff, its scientific advisory committee, and five previous census directors from both Republican and Democratic administrations not to return to a Census format that asks respondents for their citizenship status – a question that hasn’t been asked since 1950. And yet, inexplicably, the current testing phase of the Census includes this harmful and unnecessary question.

The Diverse Elders Coalition and our five member organizations join the growing chorus of advocates, elected officials, and individual citizens who urge you to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census.

 

For background on the U.S. Census and the citizenship question, click here.

To submit your own comment to Secretary Wilbur Ross, click here.