Public comments submitted by Asian Law Alliance to the Census National Advisory Committee meeting on November 4 and November 5, 2021 in support of the transition of the 2020 Census National Partnership Program to the Office of Strategic Alliances (OSA)
The Asian Law Alliance is a nonprofit that provides legal services in Santa Clara County, with a particular focus on our AAPI and low-income populations.
We worked extensively on Census outreach in 2020, and we know how important the Census is for the AAPI community to be represented, especially a diverse county in the Bay Area. We were able to push AAPI groups in Santa Clara County for a high response rate, in part due to the support and collaboration from the Census Bureau. Although we were in a pandemic, the Census was put at the forefront of people’s minds, and we consider this Census to be our most successful one yet, and look forward to continuing our work for the 2030 Census!
However, we will not stop our work with the Census- we know that the ACS is as important, if not more important, than the Census because it provides a more disaggregated look at AAPI data and challenges the idea of AAPI groups as a monolith. The ACS highlights the need for disaggregated immigrant and AAPI data and narratives. When we look at various ethnic groups, we see different educational outcomes, socioeconomic outcomes, living situations, access to health care, mental health services, etc. Time and time again, the AAPI immigrant population is framed as being well-off when it comes to educational statistics and even in vaccine rates as we have seen most recently. However, a closer analysis of the data shows the contrary and reveals a different story. Not all AAPI immigrants came to this country under similar circumstances- for example, some continue to come as refugees, some come as H-1B visa holders. By breaking down different AAPI groups in data and research findings, we can hopefully help to better illuminate the inequalities and needs of everyone that falls under this immigrant group.
We applaud the Census Bureau for transitioning to the Office of Strategic Alliances, and supporting and trusting CBOs, and look forward to working with our communities to get full cooperation and support for the ACS.