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Congresswoman Grace Meng

Representing the 6th District of New York

Meng Issues Statement on President Trump Abandoning His Attempt to Include a Citizenship Question on the 2020 Census

Jul 11, 2019
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies which funds the U.S. Census Bureau, issued the following statement this evening on President Trump abandoning his attempt to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
 
“The President saw the writing on the wall. Despite digging in, he knew that he was facing an uphill battle, and ultimately retreated from his ill-sought crusade to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
 
While we’re extremely pleased over this victory, we must not forget the chaos, contradictions, misinformation – and of course the lies – that came out of the administration during this fight. President Trump sought to weaponize and politicize the census. Administration officials such as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who lied straight to my face about the question’s origins, must still be held accountable for not telling the truth to Congress. We must also watch closely over how the President and the Commerce Department will continue to seek to acquire citizenship information through other means. We will not tolerate the intimidation of immigrant communities.
 
Now that the chapter on the census citizenship question is closed, we must do everything possible to ensure a complete and accurate headcount of every single person in this country. As I have said, it is especially vital that New York and communities throughout the nation receive their fair share of resources and representation. An inaccurate count will have a decade’s worth of consequences, because there are no do-overs with the census; a mistake is a 10-year mistake.”
 
Since early last year, Meng has led the charge in Congress against the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. She has continuously spoken out against adding the question, authored an op-ed on the issue, and has stood with immigration activists and immigration advocacy organizations to publically oppose it. She also secured $8.45 billion in the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill for outreach efforts by the Census Bureau. During an Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in March 2018, Secretary Ross lied to Meng when she asked him if the President or anybody in the White House spoke to him or his team about adding the citizenship question. He said he was not aware of any discussions, but then a court filing later revealed that the Secretary did talk about the issue with the White House’s then-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.