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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

Places in Washington DC

Norton to Press Her Bill to Prohibit Citizenship Status Question on 2020 Census at Oversight Committee Hearing, Tomorrow

May 7, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will press her bill to prohibit the Census Bureau from including questions on citizenship, nationality or immigration status on the 2020 census questionnaire and thereafter at an Oversight Government Reform Committee hearing, entitled “Progress Report on the 2020 Census,” tomorrow, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, at 1:00 p.m., in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

Norton will emphasize that the American Community Survey already uses a statistically proven method to get reliable responses on citizenship status.  Census officials have indicated that including such a question on the comprehensive census questionnaire could reduce response rates and have an adverse impact on counting minorities, which could lead to reduced federal funding for entire states.  Secretary Wilbur Ross disclosed in a memo that career officials at the Census Bureau “expressed concern” that adding a citizenship question “could reduce the accuracy of the decennial census and increase costs for non-response follow up.”

“By adding an unnecessary citizenship question, which would make the 2020 census less reliable, the Trump administration is openly seeking to reduce response rates among immigrants and minorities,” Norton said.  “This shameful political action is so blindly prejudicial it clearly has not been thought through, in as much as it would in turn reduce federal funding and resources to states throughout the nation.  I will continue to press passage of my bill to eliminate a citizenship question from the upcoming census and all future censuses in order to protect the accuracy of this vital process, as well as immigrant residents from intimidation.”