Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Congressman Serrano on Commerce Secretary Ross’s Push for Citizenship Question in 2020 Census

Jul 24, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC –  Congressman José E. Serrano (D-NY15) released the following statement today in response to new information on Secretary Ross’s role in the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, which was made public today in the thousands of emails released by the Trump Administration in response to pending lawsuits against the Secretary. Congressman Serrano currently serves as Ranking Member of the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, which has oversight over funding for the Department of Commerce.

“When Secretary Ross appeared before the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee on March 20, 2018 to discuss the Department’s budget needs, I specifically asked him about the citizenship question, his views on it, and whether the Department had made a decision about including it in the 2020 Census. His answer was essentially that the Department was still considering the question and that a decision had not been made. The emails made public today as part of the lawsuit against Secretary Ross for the inclusion of the question bear out that Secretary Ross misled me, the entire Appropriations Committee, and the public by testifying that the Department was still considering including the question when in fact a decision had already been made. Secretary Ross obviously had a clear stance and keen interest in including the citizenship question from the start, and repeatedly pushed for its inclusion throughout the process. This revelation is disturbing, alarming, and evidences that the Administration was seeking this change purely for political reasons, not because it made any sense as a policy. The emails make clear that this question’s addition to the 2020 Census has no basis in policy. It should be removed immediately.”

Watch Secretary Ross’s appearance before the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee on March 20, 2018 here: