Norton to Introduce Bill to Prohibit Question on Citizenship Status on 2020 Census Questionnaire

Jan 22, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that she will introduce a bill to prohibit the Census Bureau from including questions on citizenship, nationality or immigration status on the 2020 census questionnaire and thereafter.  Norton wrote her bill after the Department of Justice sent a letter to the Census Bureau urging the agency to include a citizenship status question on the 2020 census questionnaire.  Norton emphasized that the American Community Survey already asks respondents for their citizenship status, and including such a question on the critical Census questionnaire would reduce response rates and have an adverse impact on counting minorities.

“If the point of the census is to get an accurate count, the least effective way to do it in the anti-immigrant atmosphere engineered by the President is to tuck it into the census questionnaire,” Norton said.  “Professionals at the Census Bureau know how to get an answer to this legitimate inquiry and we should follow them, not step on their professional efforts.  My bill seeks to ensure that no respondent to the all-important census feels intimidated.”