For Immediate Release
Washington D C, October 28, 2016
Contact: (202) 547-3686

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.”

Over the years, many Taiwanese American organizations campaigned for a “Taiwanese” check-off box. In 2008, the Taiwanese American Citizens League made a video starring prominent Taiwanese Americans, calling for the same.

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 adds: “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!”

Peter Chen concludes: “FAPA thanks the effort of the entire Taiwanese American community on this very important issue.”

 

美國眾議院外交委員會主席羅伊要求人口普查2020的人口普查表上將「台灣人」列入正式選

在10月27日,眾議院外交委員會主席羅伊斯(R-CA)致函要求人口普查局在2020的人口普查表上將「台灣人」列入正式選項。

羅伊斯寫到: “在1997年,國務院對在人口普查表族群問題下加入「台灣人」表示憂慮,認為這與美國政府的政策及美國國家利益是背道而馳的。但是人口普查是一個純美國內政事務,不應該是國際政治施展壓力的對象。

羅伊斯提到: 人口普查局必須確認2020年的人口普查是準確也真實地反映出美國的人口。既然台美人認為他們與中美人是不一樣的族群,我相信尊重他們的自我認同的身分才是謹慎及有尊嚴的作法。我感謝普查局對這件事的關注,同時也要求對這一個完整及公平的考慮。

前FAPA會長陳文彥,在1998年曾受國會眾議院的人口委員會的聽證會邀請,以證人身份出席。但是FAPA後來被人口普查局告知,國務院已在在1997年的便籤中裁示,「在人口普查表上列出台灣人的選項,最終將引起敏感的政治問題…這與美國政府的政策及美國國家利益則是背道而馳的。」

然而過去多年來,有許多台美團體持續推廣在人口調查表族群問題下,加入另台灣人的選項。例如在2008年,台美公民協會(Taiwanese American Citizens League)特別製作一個影片來推廣這個議題,影片中則包含了眾多知名的台美人

所以至今,當聯邦政府的各單位在計算台美人口時,這些單位的數據本身已經有很大的差別了。根據2010年的人口普查中,台美人口數為230,328。但是根據國安局在合法永久居留者的數據裡,從1950年至2010年的台美人已高達450,673。

FAPA會長陳正義則認為:「我們相信人口普查局的人口數據是一個純美國內政事務,而不應該向國際政治屈服。」尤其現階段的美國移民局已經為移民至美國的台灣人特別設置配額。人口普查局不應該以畏懼中國打壓作為不執行準確計算台美人口數據的理由。

陳正義會長還說:「人口普查局目前在普查表上排除台灣人選項的政策,是一個自我設限的規定。我們需要有一個正確算出最正確台美人的數據。不應該有任何外在的政治因素來阻止美國來得到這個數據。台美人要求被列入選項和尊重! 」

陳正義會長提到: 「台灣人公共事務會為這個議題在此感謝台美社區全體同仁之付出。」

Chairman Royce Pushes for Taiwanese American Census Inclusion

Washington, D.C. –  U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has written U.S. Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson to request the addition of a Taiwanese identification option for Americans participating in the Census.

“As Taiwanese Americans consider themselves a separate ethnicity from Chinese Americans, I believe that it would be prudent to honor and respect their identity through adding a Taiwanese descent option to the Census,” said Chairman Royce. “As the Census is a purely domestic policy matter, it should not be subject to international politics and diplomatic pressure.”

In 1997, the U.S. 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.”

Chairman Ed Royce represents California’s 39th Congressional District, home to one of the nation’s largest Taiwanese American communities.

Text of the letter can be read here: http://royce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/royce_taiwanese_race_census_letter.pdf

October 27, 2016

Mr. John H. Thompson
Director
United States Census Bureau
4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233

Dear Director Thompson:

I am writing on behalf of my constituents who would like to see the United States Census Bureau include a separate check box for Americans who identify as “Taiwanese” in sections that deal with race in the 2020 Census questionnaire.

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.

Many of my Taiwanese-American constituents have consistently expressed frustration and concern to me over the lack of statistics available on Taiwanese-Americans.

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.

Sincerely,

Ed Royce
Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee

 

(October 28, 2016) House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce Urges Census Bureau To Add “Taiwanese” Check-Off Box In Census 2020 Form / 美國眾議院外交委員會主席羅伊斯要求人口普查局在2020的人口普查表上將「台灣人」列入正式選項