Rep. Brostoff: 2020 census citizen question could silence immigrant communities

Contact: Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, (608) 266-0650

MADISON – For the first time in almost 70 years, the 2020 U.S. Census may ask everyone living in the United States whether they are citizens. Contrary to the initial accounts on how officials came to this decision, newly disclosed government emails in a federal lawsuit show that just months into taking office the Trump Administration began discussing adding a citizen question. Rep. Brostoff released the following statement on this issue:

“Prior to this administration, the commitment to creating a fair and efficient census was not partisan. There was a common understanding of what was at stake: Equal representation for all at all levels of government and the annual distribution of about $800 billion a year in federal funds for things like schools, housing, and health care,” Brostoff said. “But now we are faced with an administration that continues to use nefarious tactics to further disenfranchise our underserved and underrepresented neighbors.

“In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed human rights violations against immigrants and their children at the border under Trump’s command. It is clear that his administration is using fear to intimidate and silence those seeking asylum in our country. Especially now, those who are undocumented or living in mixed status households may be less likely to complete the census, resulting in critical demographic information being reported inaccurately.

“You can take action on this issue. Right now, the U.S. Department of Commerce is requesting comments on the proposal to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census questionnaire. Please submit your comments online before August 7th at https://bit.ly/2tuHwgH and encourage others to do the same.

“I’m currently working with our bill drafters to create a resolution requiring that citizenship questions be banned from our census. I will continue to do all I can to ensure equal and fair representation for all.”

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