100 + Immigrant, Civil Rights Organizations Reject Citizenship Question In 2020 CENSUS

February 21st, 2018

Send protest letter to Trump administration

NEW YORK, NY - Today, the New York Immigration Coalition – with over one hundred immigrant, labor, religious, health, education, housing, and civic groups throughout New York State signed-on – sent a letter to the Department of Commerce and the Office of Management and Budget protesting the potential inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 census questionnaire. The Census Bureau will submit a draft questionnaire to Congress on April 1, 2018.

"A citizenship question on the census will scare off thousands of New Yorkers and result in an undercount that will deprive the city of critical resources to meet basic survival needs like hospitals, housing, health services and education. The framers of the Constitution, immigrants themselves, designed the census to be a non-partisan count of all of America’s residents - not another political football for the Trump administration,” said Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.


A non-partisan, reliable, and responsive 2020 Census is necessary to ensure the proper distribution of over $600 billion in federal funding to communities across the United States for schools, hospitals, housing, and transportation. The addition of a citizenship question to the decennial Census, as requested by the Department of Justice in December 2017, would stoke unnecessary fear in immigrant communities and result in a significant undercount, particularly by already under-counted racial and ethnic minority groups. With immigrant communities constituting nearly 1 out of every 4 New Yorkers, an undercount in the 2020 Census will have catastrophic consequences – costing all New Yorkers political power and billions of dollars in federal funding for key services.

The DOJ’s request to include a question on citizenship would bypass the extensive vetting process to ensure a high and accurate response rate. It would further fuel distrust and concerns of the Census Bureau's obligation to keep the data confidential amid heightened anti-immigrant furor in the current, politically charged climate. This is especially true given the Bureau’s checkered history in sharing confidential information with immigration enforcement, including sharing data to aid the government in the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the post 9-11 targeting of Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians.

The letter was signed by:

New York Statewide:


American Jewish Committee

Asian American Federation


Common Cause/New York

Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition

Japanese American Citizens League-New York

The Japanese American Association of New York Inc.

LatinoJustice, PRLDEF

NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. New York Civil Liberties Union

New York Immigration Coalition

Omicron Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

New York City:


African Communities Together

Arab American Family Support Center

Asian Americans for Equality

Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services

Brooklyn Defender Services

CAAAV-Organizing Asian Communities

Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC


Chinese American Planning Counsel

Chinese Progressive Association

Coalition of Asian-American IPA

Columbia Law School Latino/a Law Students Association

Nightline Peer Listening at Columbia College

Community Voices Heard

Damayan Migrant Workers Association

DRUM - Desis Rising Up & Moving DSI International, Inc.

El Centro del Inmigrante

Emerald Isle Immigration Center


Henry Street Settlement

Hunter Dream Team

Indo-Caribbean Alliance

Japanese American Social Services, Inc.

Korean American Youth Foundation

Masa-MexEd, Inc.

DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy, Medgar Evers College, CUNY

Mexican Coalition for the Empowerment of Youth and Families

Mexican Student Association (MexSA)

MinKwon Center for Community Action

American Constitution Society at New York University School of Law

A/P/A Institute at New York University

New York University Asian Pacific American Coalition

Bengali Students Association, New York University

The Interfaith Students of Color Coalition, New York University

Generation Citizen @ New York University

Immigrant Justice Center, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, John Jay Legal Services Independent Drivers Guild

Latino Commission on AIDS

Latino Unidos Con Honor y Amistad @ New York University

Phi Chapter of Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc.

ProColumbia-New York University Chapter

Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights

National Action Network


OCA-APA Advocates-Long Island Chapter

Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow

People’s Theatre Project

Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UNIPRO) Asian/American Center at Queens College (CUNY)

Queer Detainee Empowerment Project

Russian-speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx, Inc.

Safe Horizon Immigration Law Project

Sakhi for South Asian Women


Shetu Inc.

South Asian Community Services (SACSS)

Sunnyside Community Services

The Door-A Center of Alternatives

The Ghanaian Association of Staten Island, NY Inc. United Neighborhood Houses


University Settlement

Viva Peru

Volunteers of Legal Service


Long Island:

Dejus Center, Inc.

Long Island Wins

OCA-APA Advocates-Long Island Chapter

Central New York:

American Constitution Society-Cornell Law School Chapter

Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition

Volunteers Lawyers Project of Onondaga County

Workers Center of Central New York

Northern New York State:

Plattsburgh Cares

Upper and Lower Hudson Valley/Westchester:

Community Resource Center

Community Voices Heard

OCA-Westchester and Hudson Valley Chapter

Worker Justice Center of New York, Inc.

Western New York State:


Catholic Family Center

First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo

Greater Rochester Coalition for Immigration Justice

International Institute of Buffalo

Justice for Migrant Families

Kids for College

Legal Aid Society of Rochester

PUSH Buffalo

Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester Office

University at Buffalo, SUNY

Wayne Action for Racial Equality

Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH)

Worker Justice Center of New York, Inc.

Outside New York State:

OCA-New Jersey Chapter

OCA-San Mateo Chapter

Wind of the Spirit, Immigrant Resource Center