Senator Parker's Statement on the addition of the Citizenship Question to the 2020 Census

Kevin S. Parker

March 28, 2018

Once again, the Federal Government is focused on continuing the exclusionary policies of the past and created another barrier that will negatively impact urban, immigrant communities such as the one I represent in Central Brooklyn. I join many of my colleagues throughout New York State and across the nation who condemn the irrational decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Communities of color, especially immigrant communities, historically struggle to count all of its residents as distrust in government and fear of deportation makes participation in the decennial enumeration undesirable for many who live there.  Instead of working to strengthen public trust in our government, the current presidential administration has decided to exacerbate the situation to ensure an undercount in Black and Brown communities.

When immigrant communities are undercounted, we lose out significantly on federal funding for our schools, roads, health care services, housing, and as we did in the 2010 Census, we lose elected representation in Congress. This is unconscionable and the stakes are too high for our communities to sit by idle in this time of peril. I stand eager to work with everyone who agrees that we must act swiftly to right this wrong.