NALEO Educational Fund Vows to Fight Against Addition of Citizenship Question to 2020 Census

March 27, 2018

Organization Will Work Alongside Partners to Overturn Decision That Threatens a Full and Accurate Count of Latino Community and Nation

Arturo Vargas, NALEO Executive Director – (Track 1 ENGLISH; Track 2 SPANISH)

(Washington D.C., Tuesday, March 27, 2018) – The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund today released a statement following the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census:

Arturo Vargas, NALEO Executive Director:

SOUNDBITE #1:

IN YET ANOTHER ASSAULT ON IMMIGRANTS, LATINOS AND THE TWENTY-TWENTY 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 CENSUS AT THE ELEVENTH 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 CENSUS.

SOUNDBITE #2:

AS I EXPRESSED TO U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE WILBUR ROSS PERSONALLY IN A PHONE CONVERSATION DAYS AGO, THE ADDITION OF ANY QUESTION AT THIS POINT WOULD BE COSTLY AND DISASTROUS.  FIELD REPRESENTATIVES CONDUCTING SURVEYS AND OTHER EXPERIMENTS ARE ALREADY REPORTING WIDESPREAD AND UNPRECEDENTED FEAR AMONG TEST RESPONDENTS.  ADDING A QUESTION ON CITIZENSHIP AT THIS TIME WOULD ONLY SEEK TO FAN THE FLAMES OF FEAR AND DISTRUST IN THE CENSUS, FURTHER RISKING DEPRESSED RESPONSE RATES. THERE ARE NO SECOND CHANCES WITH THE CENSUS.  ESTIMATES FROM THE CENSUS BUREAU SHOW THAT EVERY ONE PERCENT DECREASE IN THE SELF-RESPONSE RATE WILL INCREASE THE COST OF THE CENSUS BY FIFTY-FIVE MILLION DOLLARS

For more information, visit thecensusproject.org.

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