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WASHINGTON, May 8, 2018  – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, today joined Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Tri-Caucus and Oversight Democrats, at a press conference preceding the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) hearing on the 2020 Census. Gupta urged Congress to overturn Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the citizenship question is needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act. We should all view this rationale with skepticism. In the past, Mr. Sessions has called the Voting Rights Act ‘intrusive’ and has shown no hesitation in disregarding voting rights protected under law. And the census has not included a question on citizenship since before the Voting Rights Act’s enactment ─ which means this data has never been necessary to enforce our civil and voting rights laws. In fact, the last time this question was asked of everyone, this country was in a pre-civil rights era, when communities of color were systematically undercounted and underrepresented,” said Gupta.

Ahead of the House OGR hearing, Gupta also submitted a statement for the record. The statement can be read here.

Video of the press conference can be found here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.