Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Chairman Serrano, Rep. Meng Include Language In FY2020 CJS Approps Bill To Prohibit Citizenship Question On 2020 Census

May 22, 2019
Press Release
Last year, Serrano and Meng Introduced a Joint Amendment to Restrict Funding for Citizenship Question

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Reps. José E. Serrano (D-NY), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS), and Grace Meng (D-NY), a member of the Subcommittee, announced today the inclusion of language in the Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill that would prohibit funding for the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. As Chairman, Serrano drafted the legislation and included the language. As a Member of the Subcommittee, Meng has fought for a fair and accurate 2020 Census, and for adding the language. The CJS Subcommittee, which funds the U.S. Census Bureau, approved the spending bill last week and the full Appropriations Committee passed it today. The measure now heads for a vote on the floor of the House.  

“The Census is too important to politicize with an untested and unnecessary citizenship question.  If we want an accurate picture of American society and the fair distribution of funding for the next 10 years, then the question must be removed for the form. Including a citizenship question will reduce participation in immigrant communities and prevent them from being counted, hurting places like the Bronx and the state of New York for years to come. As Chairman of the Appropriations CJS subcommittee, I am proud to announce that this important provision, which strips the citizenship question from the 2020 Census, has been successfully included in the CJS bill. After today’s vote in committee, we are one step closer to seeing this question excluded from the 2020 Census,” said Congressman Serrano.

“The inclusion of a citizenship question would be a disaster for New York and many other areas throughout the nation,” said Congresswoman Meng. “Asking respondents if they are citizens will decrease response rates in immigrant communities and that reduction will result in an inaccurate census count. This will have a devastating impact on the billions in federal aid that is distributed to communities, and will affect the number of Congressional districts that each state receives. States that depend heavily on federal aid, such as my home state of New York, will be particularly hard-hit, with resources likely not getting to areas that need them the most. There are no do-overs with the Census; a mistake is a 10-year mistake. I will continue to oppose any attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census and I thank Chairman Serrano for continuing to partner with me in this fight. I look forward to the CJS spending bill coming before the House.”

Language included in the FY2020 CJS bill:

For more information on the joint amendment introduced by Reps. Serrano and Meng last year to restrict funding for a citizenship question, click HERE.

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