We Need to Protect the 2020 Census

Mar 27, 2018

Dear Friend,

Late last night, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the latest in the Trump Administration’s  long string of actions meant to compromise and politicize the 2020 Census – he is adding a question about citizenship. I have been and will continue to fight this – the census is too important for political games.

The 2020 Census IDEA Act, which I introduced last week, has unfortunately become a necessary safeguard against this administration’s clear desire to politicize and compromise the 2020 Census. This bill will protect the integrity of the census by making sure that topics and questions included in the census are properly vetted and not added at the last minute, and will block Secretary Ross’ decision to include a last-minute citizenship question.

By adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census at the last minute, Secretary Ross has succumbed to the hateful, nativist views that are the hallmark of this administration. This action deliberately compromises the integrity of the census for political purposes. Research from the Census Bureau already shows an “unprecedented” level of concern about the confidentially of census data among the American people. Adding this citizenship question will only serve to grow these fears and, in turn, severely threatens accuracy and initial response levels. This will likely result in a severe undercounting of our country’s population.

The census is mandated by the Constitution. It determines how seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are distributed among states and how congressional, state and local district lines are drawn. It also affects the way federal and state funds are distributed and helps businesses grow and non-profits better serve their communities. Given all that is at stake, our country cannot afford to have inaccurate data. That is why we must pass the Census IDEA Act to protect the integrity of the 2020 Census.  


Carolyn B. Maloney

Member of Congress