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League Joins Groups Demanding Oversight Hearings on Census Citizenship Question

The League joined over 300 civil rights, faith, and labor groups are calling on Congress to hold oversight hearings on Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to include a new citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

Identical letters were sent to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform – Senators Ron Johnson and Claire McCaskill and Representatives Trey Gowdy and Elijah Cummings – the groups asked for lawmakers to ask Secretary Ross to address the following issues:

  • Why he made this decision despite widespread objections from stakeholders, former Census Bureau directors, and career staff at the Census Bureau;
  • Why he believes the citizenship question is “well-tested” when in fact the question has never been tested in a contemporary census-like environment;
  • How the inclusion of the question will impact the bureau’s ability to reach and count all communities equally well, especially in the current contemporary environment of fear.