Comment to the U.S. Census Bureau on Proposed Census Citizenship Question from Asian American and Pacific Islander American Academic Faculty, Researchers, and Educators
As Asian American and Pacific Islander American professors, researchers, and educators from across the nation, we are deeply concerned by the addition of a question asking an explicit question about citizenship on the 2020 Census.
Data from the decennial Census represents the “gold standard” in terms of U.S. demographic data and are essential for understanding Asian American and Pacific Islander American populations, including their size and fast-growing numbers, areas of concentration, socioeconomic status, language proficiency, and other community needs that inform policies and investments by governments and the for-profit and non-profit sectors alike.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans are already at risk of being undercounted in the 2020 Census because they are more likely to live in “hard-to-count” areas (requiring more efforts to contact households to get a response) and are also more likely to be limited in English language proficiency, which further decreases the chances that they will complete the census questionnaire.

Increasing the reluctance of immigrants and non-citizens to complete the Census questionnaire will not only result in an inaccurate count of the Asian American and Pacific Islander populations, it will also mean that the Census has failed in its Constitutional mandate. That mandate is to provide an accurate and detailed count of all residents, including the foreign born and non-citizens.

Our full public comment on the Proposed Information Collection can be found here:

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