Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte: Census Citizenship Question Will Lead to Undercounting, Loss of Federal Funding

"The importance of an accurate and full Census count cannot be overstated. Census data is used to allocate hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding for education, health, transportation and social safety net programs - not to mention the number of representatives we have in Congress.

"That's why the Trump administration's decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census will hurt communities¬ - especially immigrant communities and communities of color - throughout New York State. It will undoubtedly reduce Census participation for fear that this information will be used to further the federal government's anti-immigrant agenda.

"Today, in response to this administration's actions Attorney General Schneiderman announced that he will lead a multi-state lawsuit to preserve a fair and accurate Census. This builds on his efforts from earlier this year, when he led a coalition of Attorneys General in opposing the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

"As someone who has a large immigrant population – not only people from Haiti, but people from the other Caribbean countries, Africa, South Asia, and the Latino diaspora – this is very disconcerting.

"And let's be clear: This policy conflicts with the values of New York State, a place that proudly boasts such symbols of hope and inclusion as Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. For over 200 years, our state has provided a home for millions of immigrant families seeking a better life. Immigration is a fundamental part of the American Dream and a testament to the promise our great nation holds. Hostility to immigrants is not welcome here, and I strongly urge the federal government to reverse its decision so our country can have a fair, accurate Census. Everyone should be counted."