VIDEO: On House Floor Crow Pushes Back Against Census Citizenship Question; Passes Amendment to Protect Integrity of Census and Prevent Data Sharing

June 21, 2019
Press Release

Yesterday, Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06) spoke on the House Floor in protest to the administration plan to include a citizenship question to the upcoming U.S. Census. Crow also introduced an amendment to prevent the U.S. Census from sharing personally-identifiable information with other federal agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement. His amendment passed by a voice vote and will be including in the upcoming Commerce-Justice-Science portion of the five-bill spending package, H.R. 3055.

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Full speech can be watched, here.

Remarks as delivered

“The U.S. Census is crucial to every community and it is our duty as members of Congress to ensure that every person is counted. Not only does the Census send a message that every person should be counted, but it determines how and where federal dollars are spent. Simply put, it is crucial for our local cities and counties. The census count helps us understand how to best provide health care, education, and housing and numerous other public services. As the Chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on Innovation and Workforce Development, I have seen how the Census determines how we spend federal dollars for programs like the Small Business Development Center Program and Community Development Block Grants.

“It is clear that the purpose of the citizenship question, which we have already debated and will continue to debate, is not to ensure that resources go to the communities that need it most, but rather to stoke fear and suppress the census count.

“In communities like mine, this would have a huge impact. It would undermine our ability to gather an accurate count. That doesn’t just hurt people in our community, it strains public resources and poses risks to our community’s public health and safety.

“I am here to lift up the voices in my community and assure them that Congress will not replace good governance with fear.

“While the Administration announced that it would continue the data sharing agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to provide quality statistics, my amendment reasserts that existing law prohibits the Census Bureau from sharing individualized census data across agencies. Congress must stand firm in assuring the public that no disaggregated data may leave the Census.

“Furthermore, this amendment raises awareness of the law that penalizes any disclosure of information by Census employees to share personally identifiable information with agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.