The Honorable Wilbur L. Ross
Secretary of Commerce
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20230
Dear Secretary Ross:
On behalf of the Latino Community Foundation (LCF), we strongly urge you to reject the inclusion of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Ensuring a fair and accurate count for California’s Latino community is of upmost importance to LCF, and this ill-timed, ill-advised addition will threaten that count for the state’s largest ethnic group.
LCF is the premier statewide foundation focused on unleashing the power of Latinos in California. We fulfill our mission by building a movement of civically engaged philanthropic leaders, investing in Latino-led organizations, and increasing political participation of Latinos.
To accelerate impact for the Latino families we serve, it is imperative that we are also leveraging public dollars available to realize our mission. This is especially important as over five million Latinos in the state live in hard-to-count communities, due in part to immigration status. As the Latino population in California continues to grow, greater federal dollars are required to support this growth.
Including a citizenship question to the census will add to an extensive list of concerns that can and will suppress Latino participation. Increased immigration enforcement, anti-immigrant rhetoric in our political discourse, and privacy concerns have already meshed together to create a climate of fear and aversion of the federal government. In fact, a recent poll commissioned by LCF showed that over 50% of California’s Latinos believe that their responses to the census might be shared with immigration authorities.
The U.S. Census is a cornerstone of our democracy. It is responsible for distributing $76 billion in federal funds to California and the method in which we ensure our political representation. A fair and accurate count is necessary for California’s Latino community to assert their rightful claim to resources and political voice.
We ask that you not include the citizenship question and maintain the integrity of this important civic duty for all people, regardless of immigration status.
Should you have any further questions, please contact Christian Arana, LCF Policy Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jacqueline Martinez Garcel Christian Arana
Chief Executive Officer Policy Director