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All residents should participate in Census, despite memorandum to exclude undocumented immigrants

The San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission, San Francisco 2020 Census Complete Count Committee and the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs release joint statement on memorandum to exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census.

On July 21, 2020 the Trump administration launched the latest in a series of attacks against immigrants. The president issued a memorandum to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment base following the 2020 Census. The memorandum directs Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to collect data on the number of undocumented immigrants so that these numbers can be excluded from the base used to determine how many seats each state will be allocated in the U.S. House of Representatives.  

The administration’s earlier attempt to add a citizenship question to the Census was unsuccessful, but the damage has been done as self-response rates are lower than ever. The new policy is clearly a partisan attempt to further target immigrants, create more divisions among the nation’s people, disempower states, and misuse census data. 

While the memorandum does not impact who can or should complete a Census questionnaire, it does impact the way 2020 Census results will be used and heightens the fear of participating in the Census. The administration’s earlier attempt to add a citizenship question to the Census was unsuccessful, but the damage has been done as self-response rates are lower than ever. The new policy is clearly a partisan attempt to further target immigrants, create more divisions among the nation’s people, disempower states, and misuse census data. 

The U.S. Constitution guarantees every person living in the United States, regardless of status, the right to participate in and be counted in the decennial census. Census results are used to draw voting districts at both the state and federal levels, ensure fair representation and bring funding to local communities for essential programs and services. Federal dollars are supported by undocumented immigrants who contribute to our economy and society but receive no benefits. 

The San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission, San Francisco 2020 Census Complete Count Committee and the Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs urge all residents to participate in the census, stand up to intimidation, and affirm their right to be counted and fairly represented. Every person matters and counts. 

 

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The San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission (IRC) is a 15-member advisory body to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors on issues and policies related to immigrants who live or work in San Francisco.  The IRC works to improve, enhance, and preserve the quality of life and civic participation of all immigrants in the City and County of San Francisco. For questions, please refer to Chair Celine Kennelly or Vice Chair Mario Paz.

 

The San Francisco 2020 Census Complete Count Committee (SFCCC) is a 55+ member appointed committee of community, civic and business leaders that advises and guides the City’s outreach and education efforts for the 2020 Census. For questions, please refer to Co-Chairs Anni Chung or Andrea Shorter.

 

The San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) is a policy, compliance, grantmaking and direct service office of the City Administrator.   OCEIA oversees SF Counts, a project to inform and encourage participation in the 2020 Census.   For more information, go to sf.gov/oceia or sfcounts.org, or email: civic.engagement@sfgov.org.  For questions, please refer to Executive Director Adrienne Pon.