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Congresswoman Meng and Ranking Member Congressman Serrano Introduce Amendment to Restrict Funding for Inclusion of Citizenship Question in 2020 Census

May 17, 2018
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman José E. Serrano (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Subcommittee, which funds the U.S. Census Bureau, and Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY), a member of the Subcommittee, today introduced an amendment during the full committee markup of the FY2019 CJS bill restricting funding for the inclusion of a question about citizenship status in the 2020 census.
“Adding a question that asks respondents if they are citizens is a horrible and reckless decision that will likely decrease response rates, resulting in an inaccurate and incomplete count that will have a decade’s worth of consequences on Queens and communities throughout New York and the nation,” said Congresswoman Meng. “It will have a devastating impact on the billions of dollars in federal aid that is distributed for schools, infrastructure, social services and other critical resources. We have urged Commerce Secretary Ross to not add this question to the 2020 census, and we’ve warned him about the consequences of doing so. But our requests continue to fall on deaf ears. We will continue to do all we can to stop the administration from including this question on the upcoming census. We don’t need a citizenship question; we need an accurate census count.”
“The purpose of the census is to serve as a nonpartisan instrument to gain an accurate count and understanding of American society every ten years,” said Congressman Serrano. “As we have said before, the inclusion of a citizenship question is unnecessary, unsupported, and a clear attack on our immigrant communities. Its inclusion will make people afraid to fill out the form, undermine the count, raise costs, and have a detrimental effect on the distribution of formula funding. As a result, states will receive less funding for education, infrastructure and other important services. This question has no place in the 2020 census and no taxpayer money should be used for a question that will ultimately hinder localities from accessing the resources that they need to serve the American people. The amendment we introduced today is one of many bipartisan efforts to prevent it from being ultimately included in the final form.”