OCA Outraged by Intentional Use of 2020 Census Citizenship Question to Decrease Counts of Communities of Color

31 May 2019
Contact: Thu Nguyen | Communications Manager
202.223.5500 | tnguyen@ocanational.org
Washington, DC – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is outraged by the Administration’s intentional strategy to suppress the voice of communities of color by using the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
Thomas B. Hofeller, an infamous champion of gerrymandering, was posthumously discovered to have played a large role in the decision to add the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. It was recently revealed that Hofellerwrote a study to prove that adding the question would enable gerrymandering and would be “advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic Whites.” Hofeller rationalized that the citizenship question would enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act, an argument later used by the Justice Department to defend the question.  This argument is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union in filings made to the Supreme Court.
“The release of the Hofeller memo confirms that the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Census was intended to deter immigrants and communities of color from completing the survey,” said Rita Pin Ahrens, OCA Executive Director. “Many immigrants and members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community are already wary of completing the Census. This new information does little to calm the anxiety within our community. The inclusion of the citizenship question on the Census will undeniably prevent a fair and accurate count of the US population, and the use of the question as a tool for gerrymandering is an unlawful politicization of the Census. The Administration should be ashamed, and OCA will continue to call for the removal of the citizenship question, as well as an apology to the American public.”
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).