Advancing Justice | AAJC Applauds Biden Executive Order

and Urges Immediate Action to Ensure a Fair and Accurate Census
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144

Washington, D.C. — January 22, 2021 — President Biden signed an executive order calling for all persons in the country to be counted in state population numbers only hours into his term, rebuking the previous administration’s efforts to weaponize the census for political gain. The move rescinds the July 11, 2020 Presidential Memorandum which sought to exclude undocumented individuals in the apportionment count and Executive Order 13880, issued in July 2019 which sought the creation of a block-level citizen-voting age population dataset.

John C. Yang, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC’s president and executive director, releases the following statement in response to the new Executive Order: 

“We applaud President Biden for reversing the previous administration’s attempts to use the 2020 Census for partisan gain. From the last-minute attempt to add the untested and unwarranted citizenship question to EO 13880 and the July 11, 2020 Presidential Memorandum, the previous administration sought to silence the political voice of Asian Americans, Latinos, immigrants, and other communities of color and render our communities invisible.

With Biden’s Executive Order, the Census Bureau can refocus its attention and work to ensuring that upcoming census data is of the caliber and quality necessary to serve as a roadmap for distributing $1.5 trillion annually to each state for everything from roads and transportation planning to where to build or expand grocery stores, businesses, or schools to meet community needs. With the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and the chaos created by the Presidential Memorandum – including the truncation of census operations resulting in rushing data collection and protection – the Census Bureau must take the time necessary to provide the quality data we need to reallocate each state's share of electoral votes and the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and for redistricting.”