Statement on Census Citizenship Question

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For more information, contact: Shikha Bhatnagar,

South Asian Network (SAN)
Phone: 562-403-0488

South Asian Network (SAN) Statement on Census Citizenship Question

Artesia CA (July 11, 2019) – In August 2018, the South Asian Network, like many concerned organizations and individuals across the United States, submitted a comment to the U.S. Department of Commerce expressing our deep concerns about the proposal to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census form. As we then stated, “South Asian Americans, particularly from low-income, limited English proficiency households, have traditionally been a ‘Hard to Count’ population. Adding a citizenship question will add another burden to their full participation on the Census.”

Last week, we drafted a statement, cautiously applauding the United States Supreme Court decision on June 27th that blocked the Trump Administration from adding the question, but left room for appeal or delay. Minutes before releasing the statement, we learned that the Trump Administration was renewing its fight to keep the citizenship question on the Census form, despite earlier confirmations from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Commerce that Census forms without the citizenship question had gone to print. We, like so many of our partner organizations, were blindsided once again.

Today, our President backed away from adding the citizenship question, instead indicating that he would instruct the U.S. Department of Commerce and other agencies to retrieve citizenship information in other ways.

Not having the citizenship question appear on the Census form is undoubtedly a victory for our country and our democracy. We thank all of our partners and allies at the state, federal, and local level who have worked relentlessly to advocate on behalf of our immigrant communities.

Unfortunately, the damage has been done.

The challenge of ensuring that every South Asian in Southern California is counted remains larger than ever. False information within our community travels rapidly. Immigrant families continue to fear that the information they provide on the Census will be used against them and their loved ones. This is compounded by the anti-immigrant rhetoric from our current Administration, the deportation sweeps, and the threats to punish immigrants who rely on public assistance to feed their families. In addition, both the introduction of untested technology and underfunding of the Census greatly increase the risk of an undercount.

Full participation in the Census is crucial to bringing much-needed resources to our cities and communities, determining appropriate representation in Congress, and identifying changes within the South Asian community as we continue to deepen and expand our presence in Southern California. In short, the Census is crucial to our voice. It is crucial to our democracy.

The South Asian Network was actively involved in outreach efforts for both the 2000 and 2010 Census. We will continue to work hard over the coming year to ensure that everyone in our community is fairly and accurately counted in 2020. We will continue to fight the Trump Administration’s efforts to sow fear in communities and to undermine the integrity of our democratic systems.

We will not be erased.

If you would like more information about our efforts or would like to volunteer, please contact us at

If you would like to support our Census outreach efforts with a donation, you can do so at

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