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Congressman With Large Asian American Constituency Fears Census Undercount

Demonstrators gathered outside the Supreme Court Tuesday to protest the Trump administration's proposal to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
Demonstrators gathered outside the Supreme Court Tuesday to protest the Trump administration's proposal to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

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The U.S. Census Bureau says that Asian Americans are the demographic with the least familiarity with the census. That's not good news for Congressman Gil Cisneros. About a third of his constituents, which spans LA, Orange and San Bernardino counties, are of Asian descent.   

"We use this data to figure out where to put police stations, where to put fire stations," Cisneros said. "If those numbers aren’t accurately counted, they’re not going to have those services where they need to be."

Cisneros is also concerned that an undercount could cost California at least one Congressional seat.

The Democratic congressman has been raising awareness around the census with the help of community leaders such as Tammy Kim of the Korean American Center in Irvine.

Kim said a new citizenship question planned for the next census is not only creating fear among undocumented immigrants but confusion among legal permanent residents, who think that only U.S. citizens can fill out the questionnaire.

Kim said to educate the community, outreach workers will be canvassing everywhere from senior centers to temples.