Every ten years, the Census Bureau seeks to contact every person living in the United States to get an accurate count of the nation’s population. Census questionnaires are mailed to all U.S. households, and if they are not returned, a census worker visits the address to gather data through in-person interviews. This Census information is required to be kept confidential and must not be disclosed for 72 years.
In 2010, AALDEF’s Census Project was a multi-faceted program utilizing community education, trainings, advocacy and legal support to ensure that Asian Americans were accurately counted in the decennial event.
Beginning in March 2010, AALDEF circulated confidential, multilingual report forms to solicit complaints or problems:
Community Education AALDEF also released several multilingual fact sheets and reports on Census issues:
Fact Sheet #2: Census and Political Representation-Redistricting
Fact Sheet #3: Census and Bilingual Ballots
In 2000, AALDEF prevailed on important policy issues that affected the nation, such as a legal opinion ensuring the confidentiality of census information and a moratorium on immigration raids during the census. In 2010, AALDEF has again presented the concerns of Asian Americans to top census officials and policymakers in Washington, DC and Census Bureau Regional Directors. In preparation for the 2020 Census, AALDEF has submitted comments to the Commerce Department, calling for the removal of a new citizenship question that would likely deter full participation in the Census by immigrants and communities of color.
**The 2020 Census will have critical impacts on the Asian American community, now the fastest growing racial minority group in the United States. In addition to the allocation of federal resources, 2020 Census data will be used to create new congressional, state, and local redistricting plans, which could provide Asian Americans with better opportunities to elect candidates of their choice. The Census Bureau will also release new data that may require new jurisdictions to provide language assistance and translated voting materials for Asian American citizens with limited English proficiency under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act..
Check back soon for more updates on AALDEF’s work on Census 2020 in the coming months.
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