New York, New York, March 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As 2020 prepares to enter its second quarter, the United States Census Bureau will perform nationwide outreach to gather statistical information on communities across the US. From the largest of cities to the smallest of village across the country; the Census Bureau will aim to count every citizen to ensure each household has an accurate counting.

Why is participating in the 2020 Census now more important to Sikhs living in the United States, than ever before? Before 2020, the representation of Sikhs in America has not been correctly represented through census information gathering. Without this true record of Sikhs, the community will be underserved, underrepresented and be counted OUT of the $675 billion of annual federal funding that can be earmarked for Sikh communities. This funding could assist with including, civil infrastructure, schools, educational programs, and any other important public needs in the growing Sikh population.

2020 will be a landmark year for Sikhs and the Census. After extensive research and demand over the past decade; the Census Bureau has made considerable updates to the race and ethnicity code list. For the first time in United States history the US Census will include “Sikh” as a population group within the Asian racial category. With this opportunity to be heard, Sikhs living in the United States now have an opportunity to advocate for their own communities by simply being counted.

Of course, for many there will be an element of fear that prevents them from wanting to cooperate with the U.S. Census Bureau by not filling out a census application. This is expected. However, we at UNITED SIKHS have researched every aspect of the census process to ensure that information shared with the 2020 US Census Bureau is protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Title 13 makes it very clear that the data collected can only be used for statistical purposes, and cannot be used for anything else, including law enforcement as stated below.

• The US Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about individuals, households, or businesses, including law enforcement agencies. • The law states that the information collected may only be used for statistical purposes and no other purpose.

• By law, your census responses cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way – not by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), not by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), not by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and not by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

• The law requires the Census Bureau to keep your information confidential and use your responses only to produce statistics. The Census Bureau will not share an individual’s responses with immigration enforcement agencies, law enforcement agencies, or allow that information to be used to determine eligibility for government benefits.

UNITED SIKHS encourage all Sikhs living in the United States to participate in the 2020 US Census and become a voice for their community, no matter how big or small; it is important to be counted. In turn, we ask you to share this vital information with sewadars to share within gurdwaras. Remember, by participating in the 2020 Census, we can create and inspire positive change and secure brighter futures for generations of Sikhs across the nation. Please feel free to visit the UNITED SIKHS website for continuous and up-to-date information on the 2020 Census.


Surmeet Kaur

Sandy Levy