Posted on January 15, 2019 in Press Releases


January 15, 2019

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner | | (202) 429-9210

Statement: AAI Welcomes Ruling to Remove Citizenship Question on Decennial Census

WASHINGTON, DC – The Arab American Institute

The Arab American Institute (AAI) welcomes today’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census form. AAI is the only Census Bureau-recognized Census Information Center dedicated to analyzing data on the Arab American community.

When the citizenship question was first announced, we raised concerns that the inclusion of such a question was part of a  disturbing trend attempting to politicize this constitutionally mandated responsibility. Today, the court cited a letter signed by AAI and over 150 organizations which challenged the inclusion of the citizenship question in the 2020 Census.

Responding to the ruling, AAI Executive Director Maya Berry said,

“Today’s decision marks an important victory for those of us concerned with ensuring a fair and accurate decennial census count. The citizenship question is the latest in a litany of troubling affronts targeting the decennial Census by the Trump Administration, including abandonment of the heavily researched and widely-supported combined-question and MENA (Middle East North Africa) category. The Administration has also failed to adequately fund or fill key leadership positions at the Census Bureau with qualified candidates.

While we are encouraged by this important ruling, we know the fight for fair and accurate representation of our communities doesn’t end today. At least five other legal challenges to the citizenship question are making their way through the courts. However, the courts alone may not be able to protect us from what Judge Furman called the “legal defects” in Trump Administration Census policy. That’s why we call on Congress to take action and ensure that all Americans may participate in the decennial count without fear. We will continue to advocate for a full and accurate count in 2020 and beyond. It’s not just what all of our communities deserve; it is what the Constitution requires.”  

For more information please contact Tess Waggoner at or 202-429-9210.


Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent. AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities.

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