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Secretary Ross Testifies to Oversight Committee on Citizenship Question

 This week, in a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., provided testimony regarding the addition of a citizenship question to the U.S. Census.  As plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case to determine constitutionality of the citizenship question, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) remains firm that the addition of a citizenship question is unconstitutional and infringes on the purpose of the census to accurately count all peoples living in the United States.

The census is not a tool to target and undermine the rights of marginalized and immigrant communities, including the Arab-American community.  ADC calls on all members of Congress to protect the census and to ensure that it is fair and accurate.  Equally, ADC commends the members of Congress that upheld their congressional duty and questioned the unconstitutional nature of the citizenship question during the hearing.

At the hearing, Secretary Ross testified that the intention of adding the citizenship question is a direct request made by the Department of Justice. However, in a ruling by Judge Jesse Furman in the Southern District of New York, it was affirmed the Secretary Ross inserted the citizen question without legitimate reasons and was in fact pretextual. Neither Secretary Ross nor anyone else in the Trump Administration has provided a legitimate reason for adding the citizenship question.

ADC in collation with civil rights organizations and as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, determined that the administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census is a racially motivated form of discrimination and violated the Administrative Procedures Act.

As Secretary Ross remains complicit in the Trump Administration’s draconian sweep of immigration enforcement actions, ADC stands firmly against the underlying discriminatory goals of this administration and reasserts the unconstitutionality of the citizenship question on the U.S. Census.