South Asian Network celebrates Trump’s retreat on Census Citizenship question but sees need for community’s active role in count

indica news Bureau-

 

The South Asian Network (SAN) has issued a statement declaring “a victory for our country and our democracy” after President Trump said he was backing away from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census forms and that he would instruct the Commerce Department to collect citizenship information from other sources.

The SAN statement expressed the organization’s continued opposition to adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, reiterating comments submitted last year to the Commerce Department presenting reasons for opposition to a citizenship question. “South Asian Americans, particularly from low-income, limited English proficiency households, have traditionally been a ‘Hard to Count’ population. Adding a citizenship question will add another burden to their full participation on the Census.”

But SAN, a grassroots organization founded in 1990,  is dedicated to advocating for and preserving the rights of individuals and communities of South Asian origin, said in the statement that much damage has been done by talk of a citizenship question on the upcoming Census.

“The challenge of ensuring that every South Asian in Southern California is counted remains larger than ever. False information within our community travels rapidly. Immigrant families continue to fear that the information they provide on the Census will be used against them and their loved ones,” the group said in its statement released Thursday. “This is compounded by the anti-immigrant rhetoric from our current Administration, the deportation sweeps, and the threats to punish immigrants who rely on public assistance to feed their families. In addition, both the introduction of untested technology and underfunding of the Census greatly increase the risk of an undercount.”

SAN declared that “Full participation in the Census is crucial to bringing much-needed resources to our cities and communities, determining appropriate representation in Congress, and identifying changes within the South Asian community as we continue to deepen and expand our presence in Southern California. In short, the Census is crucial to our voice. It is crucial to our democracy.”

SAN said it will repeat its efforts undertaken during the 2000 Census and 2010 Census, when it was involved in outreach efforts to ensure that everyone in the South Asian community was accurately counted. The group also pledged to continue to fight the Trump Administration’s efforts “to sow fear in communities and to undermine the integrity of our democratic systems”.

 

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