CHAIRMAN ROYCE URGES CENSUS BUREAU TO ADD ‘TAIWANESE’ CHECK-OFF BOX IN CENSUS 2020 FORM
For Immediate Release
October 28, 2016
HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ED ROYCE URGES CENSUS BUREAU TO ADD ‘TAIWANESE’ CHECK-OFF BOX IN CENSUS 2020 FORM
In a letter dated October 27 (Attached), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce (R-CA) urged the United States Census Bureau to add a separate “Taiwanese” check-off box in the Census 2020.
Royce writes: “In 1997, the State Department expressed concern about listing “Taiwanese” as a race in the Census questionnaire because it “would be contrary to U.S. Government policy and U.S. national interests.” However, as the Census is a purely domestic policy matter, it should not be subject to international politics and diplomatic pressure.”
Royce concludes: “The Census Bureau must ensure that the 2020 Census is both accurate and reflective of the U.S. population. As Taiwanese-Americans consider themselves a separate ethnicity from Chinese Americans, I believe that it would be prudent to honor and respect their identity… I thank you for your attention to this matter and urge you to give this designation its full and fair consideration.”
FAPA started this campaign for a separate check off box under the race question before the 2000 Census. Then FAPA President Wen-yen Chen appeared as a witness to a congressional hearing before the Subcommittee on the Census in 1998. However, FAPA was informed by the Census Bureau at the time that a 1997 State Department memorandum stipulated that the “listing of “Taiwanese” as a race in a Census questionnaire would inevitably raise sensitive political questions…contrary to the U.S. Government policy and U.S. national interest.”
So, still today, there are severe discrepancies between Federal Agencies when counting the Taiwanese American population. According to the 2010 Census, the population of Taiwanese Americans was 230,382. However; according to 2014 Homeland Security data on Lawful Permanent Residents, the Taiwanese American population accumulated from 1950 to 2010 was 450,673.
FAPA President Peter Chen reacts: “We believe that the demographic count from the Census Bureau is a purely domestic American affair, and should not fall victim to international politics. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service already maintains a separate quota for Taiwanese immigrants coming to the United States. So a fear of Chinese reprisals should not be an excuse for the Census Bureau to not facilitate a fair count of the Taiwanese American population.”
Peter Chen concludes: “The current policy of the Census Bureau to exclude a Taiwanese check off box is solely a U.S. self-imposed restriction. We must have accurate data on how many Taiwanese Americans there are today. There should be no outside political influence preventing the United States to count us. We want to be counted!”
Text of Royce letter to Census Bureau: http://royce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/royce_taiwanese_race_census_letter.pdf