Representative Judy Chu on Wilbur Ross Deposition

On Friday, a federal judge ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to be deposed for a lawsuit about how a question on citizenship was added to the 2020 Census. In March, at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Sec. Ross testified in response to a question from Rep. Chu that the Department of Justice “initiated” the request to add the question. But documents released last week show that the Commerce Department pushed the Department of Justice to request the question over their own objections. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

PHOTO: | Congresswoman Judy Chu

“These recently released documents make clear that Wilbur Ross was not telling the truth when he answered my question during his testimony in the House Ways and Means Committee. This is a grave violation.

“But more troubling than his obfuscation is what it reveals: this administration is willing to twist facts – or ignore them entirely – in order to foist an anti-immigrant agenda on the country.

“Adding a question on citizenship to the census is not required, and, by discouraging responses from undocumented immigrants, actually cuts against the Founders’ intentions. A census is supposed to inform our government about who is living in our country and where. This is necessary for establishing representation and distributing resources. But by ignoring the Department of Justice’s concerns about the question and pushing ahead with it anyway, Secretary Ross’s Commerce Department is making clear that they would rather a distorted census that hides the reality of the country, taking resources away from immigrant-heavy states like California. The timing in these documents also show that officials like Sec. Ross came into this administration with a goal of waging rhetorical war on immigrants, and then subsequently twisted public policy to serve that goal.

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“Wilbur Ross must come clean about how and why this question was added to the census. It’s unfortunate that, under this administration, it takes a court order to get to the truth.”

Representative Judy Chu’s March questioning of Secretary Ross in the Ways and Means Committee can be seen here.