Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), co-chairs of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, on Monday sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young urging the inclusion of a Middle Eastern and North African checkbox, with an Armenian subcategory checkbox, on the 2030 United States Census questionnaire.
Armenian-Americans lack accurate representation through the U.S. Census, despite representing a sizable population within many communities throughout the country, and accurate representation on the U.S. Census will help right historical wrongs Armenian-Americans face. “Armenian-Americans currently do not see themselves accurately reflected in the U.S. Census, which shapes both federal and local categories, funding decisions, opportunity, and anti-discrimination efforts. Armenian-Americans have long histories of immigration, refugeehood, and racialization, as well as legal, educational, economic, workplace, and linguistic marginalization,” Schiff and Pallone wrote.
Schiff and Pallone have worked closely with the Armenian-American community for the recognition of their history, their contributions to our country, and for the protection of their future. Currently, the Armenian-American community lacks meaningful federal data as a group, despite being one of the largest and most impacted groups that would fall under the proposed MENA category, according to OMB data.
Schiff and Pallone encouraged OMB to solicit Armenian-American community input on classification within the MENA category, as Armenian-Americans are a transnational group in the MENA region whose ancestry spans and crosses current-day nation-states.
“We urge the Administration to include the Armenian checkbox on the next Census and stand ready to connect officials with members of the Armenian-American community in our districts,” wrote Schiff and Pallone. “We thank the Biden administration for working to address the needs of MENA communities and appreciate the Administration’s – and your – consideration of this important request.