In response to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to include a politically motivated, untested question on citizenship status in his 2020 census questions submission to Congress, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
“Secretary Ross’s decision to include a question that will cause participation in the 2020 census to drop is dangerous and irresponsible—it’s more destructive political hardball from a party that has shown it cares far more about holding onto power than about protecting the American institutions that undergird our democracy. Especially in the toxic political atmosphere created by Donald Trump and his allies, asking people about their immigration status will unquestionably make millions of individuals less likely to respond to the census. It will raise deep concerns about the confidentiality of the personal information that families are handing over to the census bureau, and it’s an attack on immigrant communities all across the country. We will use every available tool to ensure that the Census Bureau can conduct an accurate count. Congress has the power to fix this problem, and we urge lawmakers to act.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.