EQCA - Equality California

07/02/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/02/2019 16:59

Trump-Pence Administration Abandons Effort to Add Politically Motivated Citizenship Question to 2020 Census

WASHINGTON - After the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Trump-Pence Administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census on Thursday, June 27, a U.S. Justice Department spokesperson confirmed to the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that the Administration has decided to begin printing the census forms without the question. The Administration had previously told the Court that the deadline to begin printing the forms was July 1.

Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Zbur:

'The Administration's decision confirms what we've known all along - that adding a citizenship question to the census was not necessary, but instead a politically motivated attempt to undermine a fair and accurate count in 2020.'

If the Administration had added a citizenship question to the 2020 census, U.S. Census Bureau experts estimated 6.5 million people living in the United States might not be counted. An undercount caused by the inclusion of an untested and unnecessary citizenship question would have ha devastating effects on California, which has the highest immigrant population in the country, and on the LGBTQ community in particular, which has been designated as a 'hard to count population' by both the U.S. Census Bureau and the California Complete Count Office.

LGBTQ people are also more likely to live in poverty, experience homelessness and food insecurity and thus rely on social programs for which census data determines levels of federal funding, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) commonly known as 'food stamps.'

The California Complete Count Office has awarded Equality California Institute a $400,000 grant to lead a statewide outreach effort to encourage LGBTQ Californians to participate in the 2020 census.