Census Citizenship Question Will Harm AAPI Communities

Following the U.S. Department of Commerce announcing it would be adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, DNC spokesperson Vedant Patel released the following statement:


“This latest ploy by Donald Trump and his administration is an attempt to silence the voices of millions of immigrants, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders – who are the fastest-growing immigrant group in the United States. By including this question, the Commerce Department is paving the way for a highly flawed and inaccurate census count that could jeopardize AAPI communities’ representation in Congress and the allocation of critical resources that many AAPI families – citizens and non-citizens alike – rely on. Democrats will fight this decision tooth and nail to ensure the census remains a fair and neutral means to count all U.S. residents and not a tool for Donald Trump to push his divisive agenda.”    


Background: AAPI Immigrant Community In the United States


  • Between 2000 – 2015 the U.S. AAPI population grew 72%
    • This is the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group


  • AAPIs are projected to become the largest immigrant group in the country, surpassing Hispanics by 2055


  • Over the past decade, immigrants from AAPI countries have received more green cards than immigrants from any other region
    • Nearly 420,000 AAPIs obtained legal permanent resident status in 2015


  • The number of undocumented AAPIs has tripled since 2000


  • In 2015: Immigrants from Asian countries received 239,000 family-based visa (vs 90,000 employment-based visas)


  • In 2015, family-related visas accounted for the overwhelming majority of people obtaining permanent resident status from Vietnam (96%), Bangladesh (94%), Pakistan (83%), and the Philippines (81%)


  • Even among Chinese and Indian immigrants, who have a generally received a significant number of employment-based visas, more than half of the green cards issued in 2015 to these groups were issued on the basis of family-related preferences.