The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released a new draft questionnaire for the 2030 Census that includes a new Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) category with subcategories, such as Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian, and other populations.
Armenian Americans constitute a transnational group across MENA and are historically one of the largest and most impacted groups of immigrants in the United States from the MENA region. Armenians have a long history of immigration, refugeehood, and racialization, as well as legal, educational, workplace, and linguistic marginalization.
For almost thirty years, Armenian Americans have fought for more accurate Armenian representation on the U.S. Census and overwhelmingly support the inclusion of an Armenian checkbox.
The Armenian-American community in the United States currently lacks meaningful federal data as a group while being one of the largest and most impacted groups of this classification of Americans in this country. Because of the lack of accurate data collection, our communities experience severe cultural and linguistic barriers to accessing government services and are hindered from challenging discriminatory policies and practices. The exclusion of an Armenian checkbox has severe ramifications on our quality of life, representation, and rights as Armenians in the United States.
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, Glendale Unified School District, Burbank Unified School District, Congressmen Adam Schiff and Frank Pallone have sent letters of support to the OMB urging the inclusion of an Armenian subcategory checkbox, on the 2030 United States Census questionnaire.